SBD/Issue 21/Franchises

San Jose Officials Targeting Potential NBA Team For HP Pavilion

SVSE Has Talked To A Number Of Teams In
Last Year About Relocating To HP Pavilion
San Jose officials are "formalizing a list of principles for negotiations to bring a professional basketball team to HP Pavilion," and the San Jose City Council "as early as month's end will vote on a 'memorandum of understanding' that would guide negotiations with any" NBA team, according to Tracy Seipel of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment (SVSE) President & CEO Greg Jamison, whose company manages the arena and the Sharks, Friday said that SVSE "has talked to 'a number of teams' over the last year about relocating to San Jose." A source said that Jamison "in recent months has met" with NBA Kings Owners the Maloofs, who are "looking for an alternative to aging Arco Arena." But NBA VP/Basketball Communications Tim Frank Friday said that the league is "not aware of a pending move by any team to San Jose." San Jose Chief Development Officer Paul Krutko, who is working on the memorandum of understanding, said that if an NBA team were to move to San Jose, "modifications to the pavilion would be required," and among other things, a "new locker room and possibly offices would have to be built." Krutko said that "any potential deal would likely involve a public/private partnership, along the lines of the one that has been proposed between the city" and A's Owner Lew Wolff. Seipel noted any talk of an NBA franchise for San Jose is "tempered by the fact that the Warriors play only 36 miles from HP Pavilion," and a "majority of the league's owners would have to approve a move by the Kings to the South Bay, and strong opposition from the Warriors is a given" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/10).

NOT SO FAST: Kings co-Owner Gavin Maloof confirmed that "discussions have taken place" with San Jose officials, and he acknowledged that Kings President John Thomas "toured HP Pavilion last February." But Maloof added, "Yes, we've talked to other cities. We get calls all the time. But our message to everybody is the same. We want to stay in Sacramento, and we all want a solution to the arena. And if this isn't the right time because of the economy, then we'll wait. ... We're not going anywhere." Meanwhile, in Sacramento, Ailene Voisin noted the Kings are "operating in the black and are projected to break even throughout the season, the result of reducing operating costs and more prudent salary cap management." Also, the Maloofs "have become increasingly more visible locally," and Gavin Maloof in particular is "said to be dictating the new ticket packaging and marketing plans, and in general, pressing hard for the organization to reconnect with the community" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 10/11).

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