Run through any Sacramento Kings forum or blog – you’ll be met with one consistent. Panic. And by all means, fans have every right to feel that emotion right now.
But I say hold on, at least for the moment.
First, let’s look at the potential move to Anaheim. First, the arena – yes, it’s a step up from Arco and it’s certainly usable for NBA games but it’s far from what the Maloofs are wanting. More importantly though, the Maloofs own Arc, err, Power Balance – they wont have that luxury in Anaheim. All of the extra revenue they garner in events at a Sacramento based arena would be toast (or very minimal percentages). That is an extremely significant portion of money they’ll no longer have access to.
Second, we look at the potential rumors of a 100 million dollar loan from Anaheim Ducks owner, Henry Samueli. Nobody knows if this was even offered, but even if so, it’s a loan – not a gift. The Kings still owe a considerable amount of money to Sacramento and then would be on the hook for 100 million dollars just to Samueli, not to mention the millions needed for relocation fees and other costs involved in moving. In addition to that, if the rumors of the 100 million dollar loan are true, then you’d have to assume the rumor of Samueli taking control of the Kings franchise if the Maloofs fall behind on payments as legit as well.
So, let me get this straight (and this is just scratching the tip of the surface) – the Maloofs (who certainly aren’t rolling in Mark Cuban finances lately) are going to put themselves in a much bigger financial hole by moving to a near twenty year old arena and would be willing to seize ownership to Samueli if they did fall behind? I mean, shit – that sounds almost too good to be true for the Maloofs, right? /sarcasm
But back to the original point. Panic is good. Panic is good for the fans, even though they might not think so – and panic is most certainly good for the city of Sacramento. The Kings bring a considerable amount of revenue to the city – they employ a considerable amount of people – and with a new stadium, both of those activities would only prosper.
The Kings from a business standpoint have to be serious about relocation. They can no longer financially operate or compete with the arena, as is. But make no mistake – scare tactics work. You needn’t look any further than about a 100 miles towards the Bay and the San Francisco Giants, who had one foot in Tampa Bay before fans, city officials, and citizens realized just exactly what they’d be losing. Sure, it was a bit of a different situation, given the ownership changes, etc – but the fact remains, when reality hits – it hits very hard.
For many years, the threat of the Kings leaving was just that – a threat. That’s not to diminish the validity of it, but, until it actually happened it was nothing more than crying wolf to many people, especially non-die hard King fans.
People look at the Seattle Supersonics situation and compare it to the Kings, but frankly, the parallels are vastly different. When Clay Bennett took control of the Sonics, he was moving them to Oklahoma – period. He’s an Oklahoma boy and he wanted his team in his city. People should compare this to the Orlando Magic – a team that continually struggled to replace the O-Rena with the Amway Center and didn’t do so until the threat of the Magic leaving became a reality.
Am I saying not to be worried? No, I’m not saying that because losing the Kings could become a very real reality in the next year or two. But I am saying that reality has set in – a stark, grim reality. No longer is the idea of the Kings moving out of Sacramento a empty threat. It’s real. Very real.
But in the face of adversity, triumph occurs.
Doom and gloom for now, it is not – it’s a time to support your franchise, more than ever. A time to finally push the snowball down the hill. A time to get the Kings, fans, and citizens of Sacramento what they deserve – a winning team in a beautiful new arena.
The Maloofs, know what they’re doing.
It might be one, large, final push – but I have a feeling this one will work.