Columnist: NBA Kings Need To "Spill The Goods" And Clarify Plans For Franchise
NBA Kings Owners Joe and Gavin Maloof "have no idea how to save this marriage" between the team and the city of Sacramento, according to Ailene Voisin of the SACRAMENTO BEE. They "attend all home games but decline to speak publicly about the arena situation" and are "paralyzed by a fear of stumbling into another political and public relations quagmire." While "evaluating options elsewhere -- and, yes, Virginia Beach, Va., is a serious possibility -- they are searching for reasons to remain and survive here financially, but their ongoing silence only furthers suspicion about the team's future and alienates a once-robust, if undeniably jilted, fan base." It is "time to talk, to spill the goods, to lay it all out there." The Maloofs "need to address these latest developments in a public conversation." Team co-Owner George Maloof -- the "architect behind the near-move to Anaheim in 2011 -- is particularly intrigued with a proposed arena deal in Virginia Beach that would be 90 percent publicly funded, with $195 million coming from the city, $35 million from developer Comcast-Spectator and another $150 million from the state." Family members and/or their representatives also "have had recent talks with officials in Seattle, San Diego, Kansas City, Mo., and St Louis." The Maloofs are "united in their refusal to sell the team, which means the folks in Seattle might look elsewhere." Their preference has "always been to remain at their present location in Natomas, with downtown or the railyard a second choice." While a number of "major companies -- including Jiffy Lube and Thunder Valley -- have ended their partnerships because of the team's uncertain future, the number of sponsorships (at lower prices) has increased, and the naming rights deal with Sleep Train is regarded as a major achievement for the business and marketing department" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 12/2).