Tag: Honda Center

George Maloof, Gavin Maloof, Joe Maloof

Owners confirm Kings staying in Sacramento

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UPDATE #2, 1:04 pm: Here is what George Maloof told the Associated Press.

“The mayor of Sacramento has told the NBA relocation committee that he will have a plan for a new arena within a year,” Maloof said Monday. “If not, the team will be relocated to another city….

“I think it’s the fair thing to do,” Maloof said. “We’ve always said we think Sacramento has the best NBA fans in the world. Their overwhelming show of support was incredible. But now they realize that we’re giving them another opportunity and we’re anxious to play basketball.”

Another whole issue in this whether the Maloofs can get anything done in Sacramento, if their efforts would help a new arena get built. They are now pariahs in the city where their team is located. The team’s fans hate them. They hold no power or sway to speak of, and there are a lot of Kings fans who will soon be pushing for them to step aside. Which they will not do willingly.

This is still a messy situation with a long way to go.

UPDATE 11:57 am: Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated got confirmation from the decision makers — Kings staying put. He tweeted:

Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof just confirmed to me by phone that the family has decided not to file for relocation.

Later today there will be press releases by the NBA and Maloof brothers echoing these reports.

Great news for Sacramento, which should spend the day celebrating. Then they better get to work if they want to keep the team.

11:36 am: We told you last night this was coming, now the news is starting to become official.

People with the Honda Center in Anaheim were told this morning of the decision of the Maloof brothers (the owners of the Kings) to remain in Sacramento for another season, according to Randy Youngman at the Orange County Register.

Officials from Anaheim Arena Management, which had been in relocation negotiations with the Maloofs since September, were told of the family’s decision early Monday morning.

The NBA is expected to issue a statement Monday morning announcing that the franchise will remain in Sacramento and not submit an application to move by Monday’s twice-delayed relocation deadline. A statement from the Kings is expected to follow.

The writing was on the wall for this in recent weeks, and the Maloofs may have been the last to recognize it. Other NBA owners had questions about adding a third team to the Southern California market and they had questions about the Maloof family finances and what was the motivation for the move. The move always reeked of desperation — do you really want to move into a new market with a looming lockout that will piss off fans being your first action?

Sacramento is not out of the woods — if they don’t make significant progress on a new arena by a year from now the Kings will move somewhere and the NBA will not get in the way.

But whether that move would be to Anaheim is another question entirely. There would continue to be opposition from real heavy hitters to move into that market. Anaheim may end up being what Los Angeles is to the NFL — a threat to dangle so that better deals get made elsewhere.

Kings move update: Anaheim may float bonds to upgrade arena


When the Maloof brothers asked the other NBA owners for more time to declare whether or not they were moving the Sacramento Kings this off-season, it was obviously to give them time to finish negotiations on the many facets of the deal still needing to be done.

Like getting upgrades to the Honda Center in Anaheim approved. That now may happen, according to the Sacramento Bee (via SB Nation).

The Honda Center has the luxury boxes and some of the amenities the Maloofs want to help drive revenue. But it also is still an 18-year-old building. The locker rooms would need to be upgraded and a new practice facility would need to be built for the team.

On April 12, the Anaheim City Council will vote on whether or not to float bonds to pay for those upgrades. That would be one day before the Kings season ends, and just six days ahead of the Maloofs April 18 deadline to inform the NBA of its plans.

The city of Anaheim owns the Honda Center, but Anaheim Ducks’ owner Henry Samueli manages it. He also is rumored to be giving the Maloofs a $100 million loan to facilitate this move, something the Maloofs have denied.

Moving is going to be expensive — there is $30 million league relocation fee, plus a $70 million outstanding loan from Sacramento — so a number of things still have to come together for the Kings to pull this off. It could fall apart.

But the momentum is there. It’s more likely to happen than not. And with a television contract that could be four times what the Kings got in Sacramento, and with a new building with more luxury boxes and revenue streams, they think the short term pain is worth the long term gain.

Well, at least until the lockout kills that momentum in the community and the Maloofs find that the people of Orange County only come out when the team is winning.

Will Lakers, Clippers oppose Kings relocation to Anaheim?

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers

Does the greater Los Angeles area really need more NBA teams than New Yorks has, and will have even after the Nets move to Brooklyn? More than Chicago?

The Sacramento Kings are serious about a move to Anaheim and negotiations are ongoing. But according to Mitch Lawrence at the New York Post (via Eye On Basketball), the Lakers and Clippers are not on board.

The move to Anaheim will be opposed by the Lakers and Clippers, who see it as an encroachment on their territory. But sources close to the Maloofs say they’re willing to pay the two L.A. teams whatever it takes to relocate. That would be in addition to the league’s relocation fee of $30 million.

League sources already said that the Honda Center in Anaheim is far enough away from the Staples Center that is home to the Lakers and Clippers that the Kings would not have to pay territorial rights fees to the Lakers and Clippers. However, the NBA Board of Governors (the other owners) could vote to make the Kings pay fees to the two Los Angeles teams.

Certainly the Lakers and Clippers would like some compensation. The question is would it really be enough to deter a move?

Lawrence also points out that billionaire in Henry Samueli — the owner of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks and who runs the Honda Center — could loan money to the Maloof brothers to help pay for a move. However, the Maloofs have said publically they are not taking a loan or selling a portion of the team too Samueli.

This move is gaining a lot of momentum, even if we think that a third team in the market will face challenges. Especially if they try to complete a move and woo a new fan base after a lockout rips away part of the inaugural season in their mew home. (“Hey Orange County, come see us play! Right after our millionaire players and billionaire owners get done fighting over how to divide up your money.)

Meanwhile, some very loyal fans in Sacramento have tried to fill the building and make their emotional appeals. Their points are valid. But likely to fall on ears that only hear the noise made by the rustling cash of Anaheim.

Sacramento mayor on Kings: “more likely they’re going to be in Anaheim”


The timing is questionable. The move may leave them the third wheel in the Southern California market. They are moving to a better building than the one they are in, but it is 18 years old.

But it looks more and more like the Kings will be moving to Anaheim.

We told you already that Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson met with the Maloof Brothers that owned the Kings. Johnson’s comment to the media Thursday sounded defeated according to tweets from Scott Howard Cooper of NBA.com.

Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson at news conference discussing potential Kings move: It is “more likely they’re going to be in Anaheim.”

KJ gets points for frankness. “I don’t think Sacramento can influence the outcome of their decision.” Meaning Maloof family. He’s right.

This seems to be gaining momentum despite efforts by Sacramento fans to keep the team. But this is a real risk for the Maloofs — particularly with a lockout looming and likely — something Howard-Cooper pointed out in an article.

Issue No. 1: To put hundreds of millions of dollars on the line, perhaps the entire family fortune centered on a Las Vegas casino and a basketball franchise, and move during a lockout would be more than risky. It would be reckless. What owner could possibly think it makes sense to declare a new home soon after the regular season, spend time promoting the team there … and then not play, possibly for weeks, possibly for months?

Issue No. 2: The Kings are bad now and will be bad next season. They could be better, depending on the health of Tyreke Evans, the maturity of DeMarcus Cousins and the 2011 lottery pick. But it’s hard to imagine spending big for a free agent or taking on weighty contracts in a trade. They’re 4 ½ games behind the Clippers now, even after Sacramento’s 105-99 victory Monday, but the Clippers are in much better position for a big jump in 2011-12.

The market in Southern California is a real issue. Yes it is larger, yes Orange County is always looking to define itself against Los Angeles and there could be a bump of support. The Ducks got that at first (but now they are 26th in the NHL in attendance, 23rd in percentage of the building filled). Well, there might be support until the lockout. And so long as they don’t name the team the Los Angeles Kings of Anaheim.

I’m based out of Southern California, near the Orange County border. Know two things: 1) Orange County is still Lakers country. The team’s decades of success, especially in the absence of any NFL team in the region, has made them the kings of all sports; 2) There is a real excitement and buzz around the Clippers thanks to Blake Griffin and their success this season.

The Kings will be the third wheel in this market right off the bat. Make no mistake.

I understand the need to move, but the wise play might be to let the lockout play out and give the officials and people of Sacramento another year to see if a stadium can get done there. Where the Kings are the kings of the market.

Kings get until April 18 to decide on Anaheim move

George Maloof, Gavin Maloof, Joe Maloof
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The Maloof brothers have a little more time to negotiate and think things through.

The NBA’s Board of Governors — the owners — has granted the Sacramento Kings an extension until April 18 to file for relocation next season, according to a tweet from CNBC’s Darren Rovell. That deadline is usually March 1. The board will meet again April 14-15, so if a move is approved it likely will be then.

The Kings are in talks with the Honda Center in Anaheim to move south next season and become the third team in the Southern California market.

The Maloof brothers — Joe and Gavin — have worked for years to get a new building in Sacramento that would house the Kings, but could not get a deal done. Combine that with the slumping economy, attendance being down because the team stunk and was boring, and you have the reasons the Kings have struggled financially.

Anaheim has an NBA-ready building in the Honda Center — it’s 18 years old but does have a lot of luxury boxes and the other high end seating that have become the real driver of team gate receipts and profit. What it also has is a massive Southern California television market (one where the Lakers just got a deal in the ballpark of $150 million a season).

All that does not ensure anything — the NHL’s Ducks play in that building and are 26th in that league in attendance, or 23rd in percentage of building filled.

The Honda Center is run by billionaire in Henry Samueli, the owner of said Ducks and co-founders of Broadcom. He is worth an estimated $1.7 billion. The Maloofs have said however they would not be selling the team to Samueli nor accepting a loan from him.

If the Kings were to move they would not have to pay territorial rights fees to the Lakers and Clippers (which likely would have killed such a move).

Monday night an organized rally of Kings fans filled the ARCO Arena to show the Maloof brothers how much support there still is for the Kings in Sacramento. Unquestionably there is — it has been a loyal and strong market. But high-end seating and local television revenues are the driving forces for NBA team finances, and that is where Sacramento has fallen short.

And we’ll know by April 18 if the Kings will screw over the Sacramento fans this summer.