For most of us – basketball is a passion. A love. A recreation. In no way is that a slight to we as fans – our hearts bleed black and purple, but our rent isn’t paid by watching the Kings. Our kids aren’t fed because we recap the previous evenings game on our blog. If the Kings leave, the impact will be felt far beyond the passion of fans.
Per a recent CBS Sacramento piece, Maloof Sports & Entertainment (the Kings based division) employs about 150 full-time employees and over 1,000 part-time. From those 150 full-time employees alone, the Maloofs pay around an annual salary of 7.5 million dollars – a loss that Sacramento State Economics Dean Sanjay Varshney says could cost the region’s economy up to 10 million dollars. Keep in mind, that figure doesn’t include the part time workers. That’s simply the funds that would be out of the local economy due to job loss of full time employees.
The Sacramento area (and really, the central valley) was one of the hardest hit in the nation during the recent economic woes and losing one of the significant employers in the area would be absolutely devastating to an already flushed economy. Anybody who’s recently been on the job search knows the difficulty of finding employment – this would only woe that situation.
Yes, the Kings leaving Sacramento would be heart breaking to us as fans. We’ve given them our hearts for years. Our un-wavering support. We’ve spent hundreds, thousands, some more buying merchandise and tickets. In no way am I trying to reduce the fan impact of the Kings leaving. I am saying though – think about the people who work for the Kings and Maloof Sports & Entertainment. They’re the forgotten member of this potentially ugly divorce. They don’t know if they’ll have a job in two, three, four months. They’re in the dark as much as you and I.
If anything – I would hope that the Maloofs have enough respect for their employees to give them a head’s up when they know the final decision (which should be shortly), not pull a Modell and pay them to pack the teams moving boxes.