Sacramento council votes that a new arena for Kings would be peachy keen

The Sacramento city council went on the record last night as being totally in favor of a new Kings arena getting built somehow, someway. The council voted 7-2 for a resolution stating its “continued commitment to enter into a public-private partnership to develop a new sports and entertainment facility for the region that meets NBA standards and represents a sound fiscal and economic development investment for the city’s taxpayers.”

Which is basically where things stood a year ago, down to both the 7-2 vote margin and the lack of any coherent plan on how to pay for said arena. But at least it garnered headlines about Sacramento doing something, as the NBA nears crunch time to make a decision on the Kings’ prospective buyers’ request to move the team to Seattle. Which is better than nothing, though I expect David Stern would prefer the kind of resolution with a dollar sign at the front and a lot of zeroes on the end.

38 comments on “Sacramento council votes that a new arena for Kings would be peachy keen

  1. The biggest news, I think, that came out of all-star weekend was the lack of announcement about the so-called “whales.” If there are any whales, that would have been the time to announce them.

    The board of governors is meeting on April 18 to make a decision, not to receive a competing bid. If there is a bidder out there, I think you can bet the mortgage payment that they’re not paying $525M for a franchise in Sacramento. KJ will come out in public and say, “We put together an arena bid in record time, and we have this guy who is willing to make a competitive offer! We will keep this team!” And never mind that the Council will feel railroaded by KJ on an arena, and that we’ll never hear what the “competitive offer” is.

    It’s all about KJ’s and Rhee’s cult of personality here.

  2. The funny thing about last night’s dog and pony show, I mean, City Council meeting was that Chris Daniels, a sports reporter for a Seattle TV station, covered it better on Twitter than our local newspaper’s crack arena team. What’s happening here is that the Council gave KJ more rope to hang himself with. The best chance of the City Council here putting the brakes on this is if there’s a parking lease-out and five of them have the Epiphany that roughly $10M a year will disappear from city coffers with no way to make that up (but KJ and friends will say it is an investment that will attract visitors to the newly world class city of Sacrament). But I’m thinking this’ll never get that far. The fate of this team will be in the hands of a Bankruptcy Court Judge, the NBA BOG, or quite possibly, the Maloofs.

    Sacramento does have a weakness for celebrity politcians. The Governator won Sacramento County in his two gubernatorial elections and there’s a lot of admiration for the corporatist agenda of Mr. and Mrs. Rhee.

  3. Neil, don’t forget it’s also build an arena somewhere- somewhere in downtown. The location hasn’t been determined yet. I believe that the Downtown Plaza mall owners retained some of the consultants that worked on the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn- since it’ll be a tight fit. But if we get a Junior’s Cheesecake joint in Downtown Sacto as part of the deal, maybe I’d support this project.

  4. Well, they are still trying. That is not a surprise, considering how hard they have tried in the past. Sacramento is getting screwed by that’s life. It’s not like California is lacking for NBA teams, including one that is moving into a new arena just 80 miles away. They are the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NBA, and it is doubtful anyone outside of Sacramento is going to miss them. I mean Sac is almost like Fresno having a team. Oh well.

  5. Hansen doesn’t own the team yet. It was the Maloofs that submitted the relocation application to the league but Hansen and the Maloofs submitted the terms of sale deal. Hansen comes aboard with the NBA BOG approves but I’m sure that Hansen’s group is the brains behind the relocation application.

  6. I think KJ’s barking up the wrong tree anyway. What KJ needs to show the BOG is why the Maloofs cannot accept Hansen’s offer. Bag this garbage about “We can match that!”. I think that ship has already sailed.

    I don’t think any local offers will exceed $350M, but even if that’s wrong and the competing offer is for $700M… Too late. Unless, as I say, they find some reason they have to reject Hansen’s offer.

    For reference, look at how Lacob and Gruber bought the Warriors. Larry Ellison insists that he put in the higher bid. But the problem is, there was already a signed PSA submitted to the NBA for approval. As soon as you get into “changing minds”, you’re on shaky legal ground.

    Maybe Hansen and the Maloofs could mutually agree to back out, but… Why?

    Local fans are overly reliant on the FROR argument, too. I think what they’re going to find out is that the minority owners WERE given a chance to match, but at $525M, they ain’t buying; they’re selling.

  7. The deal is already done. I know all. Bow down to me. The kIngs are staying and I will open up the new arena. I from NY and always right.

  8. I think we all should take a moment to sit back and listen to David Stern’s rebuttal to Chris Daniels when asked about why Seattle is a great NBA town now. Stern basically said the city gave the Mariners and Seahawks at least $300 million each and then passed legislation taking that away from the Sonics. Stern said WA speaker Chopp told him to “take it from the players”. It was the most direct expression I’ve heard from Stern saying “if you want a team, the city needs to give at least $300 million”. It’s 4 minutes into the King5 media clip titled “NBA commissioner talks about Sacramento Kings future” and linking to it would result in moderation.

  9. I’ll risk moderation:

    That entire line of reasoning is depressing. The bigger the subsidy, the more likely they are to stay? That prospect actually makes me feel sick to my stomach.

    In this case, however, I think Sacramento’s “argument” is countered by a few points: $525M, Ballmer, and “The Bird in Hand.” Only the last of these really needs explaining. Seattle is in the process of having its few minor problems worked out (the lawsuits), while Sacramento could be at least a year away from both a complete EIR and coming up with $255M.

    If it takes a 70% arena subsidy to keep a team, let them go. To heck with the league that thinks that’s a healthy trend.

  10. Okay, fine: I’ve turned off moderation for comments with only one URL in them. Let’s see if this results in a flood of spam…

  11. Here’s the clip of David Stern “correcting the record” with Chris Daniels at 4:20 in. Stern basically says that Seattle threw at least 300 mil in for the other sports, and passed legislation and told the NBA to sit on a tack.

    Do comments get turned off after X number of days here Neil, I think that would help reduce spam somewhat.

  12. They will now. Though in the past there have been flurries of comment spam on recent posts. I’ll see how it goes — I’d love to be able to allow URLs in comments if it proves workable.

  13. And how many other NBA teams are in California and might like to be able to get tax money kickbacks ?

    I’d be a bit concerned if I were Stern or Silver with not seriously entertaining offers from Johnson/away the single pro sports team in the state capital for a state with the most NBA fans/viewers/teams. With enough grumbling over being passed over by the NBA you might start seeing legislation that blocks sports subsidies, state laws that charge tax on bonds used for sports, or higher athlete taxes than CA already has.

  14. I meant “not entertaining mayor Johnson/_sending_ away the single pro sports team in the state capital”

  15. Well, how about allowing certain users to put in URLs? Just people you trust.

    Wait, that eliminates me.

    The gutting of the Kings started tonight, though. Oh, Lordy, what was that?

    (Thanks for this blog, Neil. It really rattles our local fan blogs. I don’t post on those, but I love reading their comments about what a fine, upstanding, intelligent man you are.)

  16. The problems for the arena proposal in Seattle are not minor. Those are just two lawsuits. The Environmental Review is not completed and should engender lawsuits itself. Then the final final Mou has to be written and voted on again by Seattle and King County. The final final Mou could engender lawsuits. Then there are the TBD contracts in the final Mou (not the final final Mou,but the final Mou) which could engender lawsuits. While this is going on Seattle has a Mayoral election this November, and it would be suprising if the current arena proponent Mayor does not lose. The arena propsal in Seattle has major difficulties.

  17. Okay, finally watched Stern’s answer to Chris Daniels. I read that as “I was mad at Seattle then because they wouldn’t throw money at us like they did with the Mariners and Seahawks, but it’s a commissioner’s prerogative to change his mind.” He was justifying letting the Sonics move to Oklahoma, but not tipping his hand one way or another on what to do about the Kings.

    Stern is in an awkward situation, because clearly he wants cities to keep on offering $300 million for arenas, yet he’s not going to tell Chris Hansen that he can’t buy a team and build an arena with a much smaller subsidy if he really wants to. My guess is that at this point the NBA’s decision is going to come down to whether it thinks Sacramento has a viable arena deal in place (not so much, at the moment), and if it does, whether it’s more in the NBA’s interest to get the Kings into a bigger market, or to reward Sacramento for coming up with the baksheesh while keeping Seattle around as a move threat for other franchises.

  18. It’s kind of funny though, by saying in defense of the SEPA lawsuit, that the MOU doesn’t constitute “action” isn’t the city also saying that I-91 lawsuits are too early ? The 90 day clock on those only started with “action.”

    Then again, the murky constitution of the seattle arena financing and what is a subsidy vs not really makes challenging via I-91 rather shaky.

  19. I have two words for you, jhande: Wishful Thinking.

    What makes you possibly think there wouldn’t be lawsuits in Sacramento, too? Sorry, but I think you’re going to find that on this score, we’re about even.

    Sacramento is a year or more away from raising $255M. In the face of $200M in financing from Seattle, I’d wager that they’ll take the bird in hand.

    March 1. That’s a key date here.

  20. I thought March 1 was just the deadline for applying to relocate, which the Hansen group has already done. What’s key about it now, MikeM?

  21. Stern has told KJ he needs to have his plan “well before” March 1. But I know how these deadlines turn out not to be deadlines. The probasketball link above has a reference to it.

    One of the two no-voters on the Council resolution wrote a letter to our budgets guy:

    I’d be shocked if we ever get answers to even half of these questions.

  22. Actually, the probasketballtalk link doesn’t say anything about a Stern deadline. It just says that “sources” expect Sacramento to make an offer by March 1. Which could mean anything, really — could be just KJ saying, “I have here in my hand the names of 207 known whales!”

    There’s zero incentive for Stern to rule out Sacramento before he has to. I’d be stunned if any kind of ruling is made before the NBA meetings in April.

  23. “By March 1” appears to be KJ’s self-imposed deadline, not the NBA’s.

  24. Mike M, I have no idea about lawsuits in Sacramento. My post says nothing about lawsuits in Sacramento. So, I do not get where your accusation of “wishful thinking” comes from. The arena in Seattle has more than minor difficulties. The current lawsuits are not minor. The I-91 lawsuit is early, and even if not successful will provide the guidance for future I-91 lawsuits. Any Citizen may file an I-91 lawsuit. There will be more I-91 lawsuits, as well as lawsuits about other aspects of the subsidized Seattle arena proposal. The Environmental Review is compromised and will provide grist for further lawsuits. Tha current Mayor will probably lose.

    So, What am I wishful thinking about Mike M?

  25. It’s wishful thinking to believe that

    1) The suits in Seattle will be more than a minor nuisance, and
    2) There will be no suits in Sacramento.


    Just like the entire FROR episode has been wildly overblown.

  26. Neil, here’s an article about the lawsuit that will be heard tomorrow:

    It shows one of the reasons the suit is so weak.

  27. I thought the Sacramento paper had a quote from Stren saying Johnson had promised soemthing by March 1.

    But the only scenario in whcih Sacramento keeps the team is if they can find new ownership and agree to an arena deal with said group. Seattle at least has an agreement in principal with their ownership group. Sacramento has no ownership group to deal with. Even without a deadline time is running out.

    One of the Kings fan sites is making a big deal about whether minority ownership interests have a right of first refusal, including a seven percent interest that will soon be auctioned in bankruptcy court. But even if the buyer of the minority interest assembles a group to match the Seattle offer he NBA can just deny the sale to the new group if they have already approved the franchise move.

  28. It’s also wishful thinking to think that the NBA would extend deadlines for the Maloofs and Sacramento to work on a deal a year ago but would not extend a deadline if KJ has a reasonable plan going. The NBA has been on a rip of relocations recently and would be wise to shed the carpetbagger image if it can.

  29. A “rip” compared to other leagues, maybe, but it’s still only three teams in the last 28 years. (Four if you count the Nets crossing the Hudson.)

  30. Mike M, I guess we will find out who was wishful thinking when the arena in Seattle is not built.


    Really, who the hell are you with the “I say so”. You aint all that.

  31. Return to your corners, people. This is edging into personal attacks, which Will Not Be Allowed.

  32. @Neil

    And let’s keep in mind that the NFL had 4 relocations in a 5 year span with the Browns to Baltimore, Oilers to Tennessee and then both the Raiders to Oakland and the Rams to St. Louis.

    The NHL had 3 in 4 years with Winnipeg to Phoenix, Hartford to Carolina and Quebec to Colorado.

    All in all, the NBA has a better track record of keeping teams at home than those 2 leagues. I think we hear so many relocation rumors in the NBA that we tend to assume teams have already left when in actuality, it’s all just smoke. They may have more recent relocations but Stern’s reign in general has seen less than either Tags or Bettman.

  33. It may not have been far for many of the fans, but the Nets relocation required a BoG vote and was done in pursuit of the larger public subsidy so I think I’d count it (as a Field of Schemes reader).

  34. Yes, mind your manners. My site is built on Girly gossip and hear say’s. The intergrity of this site is about as high as National E. mag. I love to talk about others and malign and judge until it happens to me, then I run to my momma.

    If I had somewhat of a life, I wouldn’t meddle into others buisness. Because in reality they could give two shits about my litlle tattle tale web site.

    Yes, I was the kid who sat in the back of the class and told on anyone who talked.

    Greatest quote:

    I thought the Sacramento paper had a quote from Stren saying Johnson had promised soemthing by March 1.

    Davy Stren will deceide this case. He is our Master.