1) The source here is the same apparently unhinged TV news guy who excitedly reported the plan last Wednesday (and who has previously shown himself to be willing to say just about anything to get ratings).
2) Though the report says that “a revenue source to pay for the plan has been found,” it doesn’t actually indicate what it is, how much it would pay for, or whether it’s politically feasible.
3) Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof didn’t even wait out the weekend before rejecting the plan outright, on the grounds that the revenue source wasn’t really a revenue source, and in any case it only would have financed a renovation of the Kings’ existing arena, not the new one they crave.
- The Maloofs, it turns out, would actually get that loan from Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli, though it’d only be $50 million, not the $100 million that was originally rumored. Also, Samueli would in turn be borrowing it from the city of Anaheim, which would sell bonds to raise the needed funds. Another $25 million in city money would go to build new locker rooms and such for the relocated Kings.
- The Kings would have to pay Samueli rent equal to 7.5% of their gross ticket revenue and half of parking and concession revenue; at the same time, the Maloofs would get a one-third cut of all arena ad revenue, plus an additional naming-rights fee that Honda has agreed to pay on top of what it already gives to Samueli. (In case you’re wondering, the city of Anaheim, which actually owns the building whose name is being sold, gets a big pile of nothin’.)
How the bottom line from this deal compares to what the Maloofs now earn in Sacramento is tough to say, especially given the one remaining wild card in the deal: how much the Kings would have to pay the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers in territorial rights fees. ESPN is reporting that the arrival of the Kings could cost the Lakers nearly $300 million in lost TV revenue alone, though it’s not clear whether that’s in current dollars or spread out over the 20-year life of their new TV deal.
Either way, it seems likely that the Lakers and Clippers are going to be asking for a significant chunk of change in exchange for allowing the Kings to horn in on their SoCal market. The question now is how much support from other owners they’ll be able to drum up before the NBA owners’ meetings on April 14 and 15 — and then whether the price they can get the votes for turns out to be too rich for the Maloofs’ blood. Expect this one to go down to the wire.
(Thanks to FoS reader Mike M for many of the above links.)