One wouldn’t normally associate a company that owns and/or operates sport venues as an influential force in major business decisions for corporate conglomerates like the NBA, but most companies aren’t the behemoth that AEG is. The Anschutz Entertainment Group, who owns a large portion of the Los Angeles Lakers (among many other interests), is the world’s largest and most profitable owner of professional sport franchises and venues and they just so happen to be major players in the Sacramento Kings arena saga and potential move.
As Carmichael Dave pointed out last night, later confirmed by Rob McAllister this morning, a 3/4th’s vote by the NBA Board of Governors is needed to approve a relocation to Seattle meaning 22 of 29 owners (not counting the Maloofs) would need to vote yes for the move to go through. Doesn’t seem like a very difficult process, until you factor in the influence of AEG, who owns at least nine NBA venues (and operates more) and has major influence in the operating structures of those franchises.
AEG has professed their desire to be the driving force behind a new Sacramento arena so is it possible that eight NBA owners could opt to vote against a relocation, simply from the influences of AEG? At this point it’s hard to tell, being what we don’t know the type of influence AEG would have in a Seattle franchise.
Currently, AEG is the operator of Key Arena – the Seattle venue where the Kings would play for a few seasons if a move is granted for next season. If AEG was to be included in the process of building/owning a new venue in Seattle, it’s hard to imagine them putting their foot down either way given they’ll have a new arena to operate/own in Sacramento or Seattle – but if the scenario plays out to be more profitable in Sacramento – potentially owning the arena as compared to potentially operating it in Seattle, it might not be out of the question to see a very close vote from the Board of Governors with AEG’s influence.