Eyes on Sacramento
What happens in Sacramento could drive the process.
Sacramento is attempting to secure the financing to build a new downtown arena for the Kings, who have played since 1988 in what is now known as Power Balance Pavilion, formerly Arco Arena. At 17,317 capacity, it is the smallest arena in the NBA and is also one of the oldest, and lacks many of the revenue-generating amenities of new arenas.
The Kings are owned by Joe and Gavin Maloof, who have run into some well-documented financial issues in recent years, specifically concerning their investment in the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, and they are pressing for a new arena to be built immediately or to relocate the team somewhere it will make more money.
The Kings almost moved to Anaheim last season before NBA Commissioner David Stern stepped in and said the city should be allowed more time to try to keep the team. Given that the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers already play in the Southern California market, the owners of those teams might balk at a competitor.
The Kings are an original member of the NBA, which dates to 1949, and are one of the most well-traveled, having played in Rochester, N.Y.; Cincinnati; and Kansas City-Omaha before Sacramento.
Under the NBA's March 1 deadline for Sacramento to present a viable financing plan, a new arena would be located at the downtown rail yards at a cost of roughly $400 million. The city has proposed to raise about $200 million by leasing the rights to the city's parking spaces for 50 years.
On Friday, the city announced the names of 13 companies that have submitted proposals to win those rights. The city is expected on Feb. 14 to present to the City Council the proposals it considers the most viable. It also has been expected that a proposed arena builder would donate roughly $50 million to the project.
The Kings are struggling on the court, with a losing record, and attendance has suffered, with its average of 14,267 per game through Feb. 3 ranking 26th among 30 teams.