Samueli Offers To Increase Loan In Last-Minute Effort To Bring Kings To Anaheim
In a late move to bring the NBA Kings to Anaheim, Ducks Owner Henry Samueli "has offered to increase his personal loan to the team from $50 million to as much as $75 million, and has offered to buy a minority stake in the organization," according to Bizjak, Kasler & Lillis of the SACRAMENTO BEE. Samueli also "has agreed to make far more costly improvements to Anaheim's Honda Center, which he manages, to bring that facility up to NBA standards." Originally, Honda Center officials had planned to spend $25M on upgrades, but arena officials said that the figure "has jumped in the last few days" to $70M. Samueli's enhanced offer "includes one critical change that could save that city from running into a potential deal-killing roadblock." Honda Center officials Thursday said that Samueli "has agreed to float private loans to cover the deal, if need be, instead of relying on a public bond sale." Still, a source warned that "key questions remain unresolved about a critical media deal in Anaheim." The Maloofs have until Monday to decide "whether to request permission" from the NBA to move the Kings, and they "reportedly were on the fence about that move as late as midweek" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 4/29). In Orange County, Randy Youngman notes "thanks to Samueli's deep pockets, Anaheim has put together a sweetheart deal that could immediately rescue the Kings from unprofitability." While Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has been "trumpeting corporate pledges" of more than $10M, Anaheim Arena Management officials "quietly have lined up corporate commitments that they say more than triple Sacramento's pledges." Additionally, AAM will have $13M "more in premium ticket revenue guaranteed as soon as the Kings say they are coming" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 4/29).