Kings a completed sale away from staying long-term; Seattle area fans now eyeing the Bobcats
Silence! The NBA’s owners have spoken, and the Sacramento Kings will continue to secrete bile in a city that can’t sustain a professional basketball team.
Mayor Kevin Johnson had the biggest moment of his distinguished NBA career Wednesday, and it didn’t happen in a basketball court. After years of working to keep the embattled Kings from leaving, Johnson perhaps got more than a one-year stay of execution when the league rejected a bid that would have moved the team to Seattle.
That decision opens up the possibility of selling controlling interest of the team to a Sacramento-based investment group, even though the team’s current owners, the Maloof family, preferred to sell to the Seattle group.
The Seattle bid would have benefited the NBA more in the long-run. The group’s bid, for one thing, was decidedly more than, at $600 million plus. If the Kings are worth that much, imagine how much a team playing in a more than sustainable city’s worth?
That’s all we can do. And that’s all Super Sonics fans can do as wait awhile longer after coming so close to bringing pro basketball back to Seattle.
In the meantime, the league’s owners took a back-room deal with Sacramento-based investment group led by Vivek Ranadive, in which the buyers promised the league that it will forego revenue sharing streams. The league’s owners were also threatened by the mostly private funding a new stadium would have received, foregoing the public dollars tapped out local governments would have had to shell.
Dollars like the one Sacramento will front to build a new stadium to replace the embarrassing arena most often called the O.Co Stadium of basketball.
The Kings can’t afford to stay in Arco Arena and expect to survive, especially without revenue sharing streams that the Sacramento-based owners have proposed to forego.
Commissioner David Stern has said the league won’t expand to 31 teams. Seattle will get its team back, at the expense of another city. After today’s vote rejecting the Seattle-area bid led by investors Chris Hansen and Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, it doesn’t look like they’ll get the Sonics back. In the event that they do, and it’s only a matter of time, it won’t be at Sacramento’s expense.