Vivek Ranadive completed his purchase of the Sacramento Kings on Friday, and the NBA celebrated as only it knows how — by threatening to move the Kings anyway if a new arena isn’t built within the next four years:
Hours after Vivek Ranadive and his partners completed the record-setting purchase of the franchise from the Maloof family, NBA Commissioner David Stern revealed that the Ranadive group must meet “a series of benchmarks” for a new arena – or risk losing the Kings to another city.
If deadlines are blown, Stern told The Sacramento Bee, the NBA has the option of pulling the Kings out of Sacramento and arranging for the team’s sale to new owners.
It’s a bit of a bizarre notion, approving the sale of a team to new owners but reserving the right to unsell it if an arena deal doesn’t go through, but as we’ve been over time and time again, the NBA controls its franchises, and it can pretty much do what it wants with them. (Especially if Ranadive agreed to it in the sale agreement.) You have to hand it to David Stern & Co.: They’ve managed to play this whole Seattle-Sacramento battle for maximum leverage and profit, with the likelihood now that they’ll get two new arenas plus two sky-high franchise sales out of the bargain. (There’s already rumors of Seattle getting an expansion franchise by 2015
, along with … Omaha
?) It’s almost like they’re professionals at this!
And anyway, an arena will be great for Sacramento, because tech jobs
! Because Ranadive runs a tech company, see, and his partner Paul Jacobs has promised to “bring as much technology as we can”! And that turns into jobs because, because… well, even the Sacramento Bee says that “what the group’s tech orientation means for Sacramento is uncertain,” but c’mon, tech jobs!