SBD/March 8, 2011/Facilities

Sacramento Developers Still Looking At Feasibility Of New Arena For Kings

Sacramento officials still pursuing new arena to replace Power Balance Pavilion
The Sacramento-sponsored development team "looking at the financial feasibility of building a new arena in town has not stopped working amid the Kings' uncertain future," despite reports to the contrary, according to Ryan Lillis of the SACRAMENTO BEE. Adam Mendelsohn, spokesperson for developer David Taylor, said that the study "may take 'a little longer' than the original 90-day timeframe because of the Kings' relocation negotiations." But Taylor and ICON Venue Group "have not stopped their work." Mendelsohn said the Kings' cloudy future "doesn't dramatically affect our ability to get this done." Mendelsohn added, "If the Kings decide to relocate, we will present an arena without the Kings. If they decide to stay, we will present a plan that includes the Kings as tenants." Lillis wrote, "It seems that the push to get a new arena built without the Kings has gained momentum in the last few days, with business interests joining that campaign last week" (SACBEE.com, 3/7).

BIG ENOUGH FOR THE THREE OF US? With the Kings contemplating moving to Anaheim, the L.A. TIMES' David Wharton wondered, "Is the Los Angeles metropolitan area -- with its population of 12 million-plus -- big enough for three NBA teams? The answer, according to various sports industry executives and experts, is a resounding 'probably.'" Neither the Lakers nor the Clippers "have officially commented, and it remains unclear if they would seek to block the establishment of a competitor just 30 miles south of Staples Center." But with NHL and NBA franchises "under the same roof" at Honda Center, Ducks Owner Henry Samueli "could create his own regional TV network." The arena "would profit by way of an escalator that boosts the value of the naming rights deal if an NBA team moves in" (L.A. TIMES, 3/5). In California, Jeff Miller wrote Lakers fans "should be in full support of the relocation because it only helps their beloved bunch." Lakers Owner Jerry Buss "being against the Kings moving into his market, and he is very much against it -- is smart business." Another NBA option locally "could take money directly from his giant hip pocket." But it "wouldn't cost Lakers fans in Orange County anything and would give them something -- the opportunity to watch their Lakers in person twice a year without venturing to L.A." (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 3/6). 

CITY LIMITS:  In California, Eric Carpenter reports if the Kings do move to Anaheim, the city "must be first in the team name and the only geographical identifier, according to a city contract." While it is "not clear if the team would remain the Kings, go back to the original moniker, the Royals, or come up with a new name, the contract makes one thing clear: The team won't be the Los Angeles Kings of Anaheim." City officials "apparently learned their lesson after the bitterness that erupted when the Angels changed the team name in 2005 from the Anaheim Angels to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim." The city's contract with Honda Center "spells out that any NBA team in the facility must be known" as the "Anaheim (followed by the team name)." That language was "written into the contract when the arena ... became known as the Honda Center" before the '06-07 season (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 3/8).

OLD FACE, NEW PLACE
: In San Jose, Tim Kawakami wrote the NBA is "far more open to the Maloofs moving the Kings to OC than to San Jose, not out of deference to the Warriors, but largely to keep the SJ site open" for Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Ellison "almost bought" the Hornets "before the league itself stepped in to buy the Hornets temporarily." But "after there's a new CBA, if Ellison still wants to buy the Hornets, and if the San Jose market is still open, why wouldn't he plan to plant his NBA flag at HP Pavilion?" Kawakami: "Nothing involving Ellison, San Jose or another move will begin to take place until after a new CBA this summer. Basically: The NBA wasn't and isn't too interested in Ellison pouring $300M or more into their coffers right before they go to the union crying poor and threatening to shut down the season" (MERCURYNEWS.com, 3/4).
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