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SBD/April 17, 2012/Facilities
Kings Will Return To Sacramento For '12-13, But Future Venue Plans Remain Murky
Published April 17, 2012
ONE AND DONE? SI.com's Sam Amick wrote Johnson's "premise -- that the Maloofs will sell or be forced to sell -- is the part where it gets puzzling." No matter how "badly he and perhaps the NBA want the Maloofs to hand the team over, the family continues to say it won't give in to the pressure and that relocation isn't an option this time around even with the latest setback." Given NBA Commissioner David Stern's history as the "kind of commissioner who can't be crossed, the notion that there would be no recourse for the egg on his face seems unfathomable." Meanwhile, the Maloofs, who "initially claimed" that a $3.25M "redevelopment fee was the main holdup of the deal, have likely lost more than that in team sponsorships and future attendance by way of this public relations disaster." Sources said that because "so many businesses agreed to one-year deals last season as a result of the one-year reprieve," there are more than 50 partners "up for renewal for next season and there's simply not much incentive to invest in the future." It is "hard to imagine the support continuing without the return of hope here" (SI.com, 4/16). A SACRAMENTO BEE editorial states while the prospects "may appear bleak right now, it is premature to completely give up on a new entertainment and sports facility -- with or without the city's NBA team as the primary tenant." Officials "should keep talking to Anschutz Entertainment Group about being the city's partner, even if the Maloof family won't be." The deal with the Maloofs "is dead," but a new arena "doesn't have to be" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 4/17).
ROOM FOR ANOTHER TEAM? In California, Mark Whicker wrote the city of Anaheim would "take an NBA team even if it were owned by the Amish." Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait said, "We are NBA-ready. There are 25 million people in Southern California, and yet there is only one venue to watch pro basketball. When people talk about two teams in Los Angeles being enough, we disagree with that. These are two different markets, and people from San Diego, for example, could get on a train and arrive within walking distance of the arena." However, Whicker notes even with the Lakers telecasts going to Time Warner Cable, it is "difficult to squeeze one's games" onto the FSN stations in L.A. To "dominate the winter sports market in Sacramento, Seattle or Kansas City would seem far more desirable than to wallow on the inside pages here, or to share one's building with the proprietary Ducks" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 4/17).