Tag: Seattle arena

Maloofs Eating Carls Jr Barry Bonds

Sponsors fleeing Maloofs amidst uncertainty over Kings’ future


How much would you pay for the right to advertise with a basketball team that refuses to guarantee where it will be a year from now?

If you’re mattress maker Sleep Train and hamburger purveyor Carl’s Jr., the answer is nothing.

Those are the reports coming out of Sacramento from the well-connected Carmichael Dave, who once hosted his own radio show for the Kings’ flagship radio station 1140 The Fan. Dave was mysteriously let go after becoming critical of the Maloof family, after George Maloof torched a viable arena deal in Sacramento last April. Dave has since started his own radio show.

Sleep Train was in talks with the Kings for naming rights of the arena formerly (and still to many) known as Arco Arena.

Carl’s Jr., perhaps the most prominent sponsor for the team, was at the center of controversy when the Maloofs released an advertisement for their $6,000 burger combo meal – flaunting their $1 billion net worth while asking the city of Sacramento to pick up much of the tab on an arena in 2006.

Sutter Health, a large Health Maintenance Organization in the Sacramento area, is also out.

Sources have told ProBasketballTalk that about half of the team’s sponsors have decided not to renew their packages, and Dave reports that several of the team’s larger sponsors are “on the rocks,” including Thunder Valley Casino and VSP Vision Care.

Dave also reports that beverage sponsors are concerned that the Maloofs’ new vodka drink might get preferential treatment at the arena.

Everything in this unfortunate saga centers on the Maloofs, who either have to cut a deal with Sacramento similar to the one that the NBA negotiated on their behalf last fall, or try their luck moving the franchise. Should they sell, there will be no shortage of suitors in Sacramento and around the nation.

Surely, the other 29 NBA owners have to be tired of cutting these guys a revenue sharing check.

Baseball’s Mariners say they don’t want NBA arena near them

Minnesota Twins v Seattle Mariners

Seattle built the Mariners a lovely ballpark — Safeco Field — and now the Mariners don’t want a new NBA/NHL arena near their beautiful park.

That’s the gist of a letter set to the city by the team, as reported by the Associated Press.

The letter was sent from the team on Tuesday and signed by Mariners chairman Howard Lincoln. In the letter, Lincoln says the franchise supports the idea of the NBA returning to Seattle, but that an exhaustive examination of various sites for a new arena in the greater Seattle area needs to be conducted.

Why not put the new stadium near Safeco in Seattle’s official “stadium district?” Well it would bring a lot more traffic and create scheduling conflicts in the area where Safeco and the Mariners are now. The Mariners say it would take hundreds of millions of dollars to mitigate those.

Or, put another way: Right now we have our own room and I don’t want to have to share it with a brother or sister. A lot of cities bank on — or would kill to have — the people and synergy that multiple arenas in an area can create. It’s the kind of anchors that can revitalize and transform and area. But it’s inconvenient for the Mariners so they don’t want it.

As a refresher, San Francisco businessman Christopher Hansen owns land down there and has proposed a stadium where he puts up the land and about $290 million. The city of Seattle and other partners are trying to figure out where the other $100 million plus is going to come from to make this a reality. And that’s not even dealing with the not so little issue of getting an NBA team or NHL team to move there.

But that’s the dream. One the Mariners are doing their part to squash, apparently.

Seattle groups lay out arena plan: it starts with finding team


It’s a start. A good start.

Details of the NBA arena plan for Seattle were laid out by Seattle’s mayor and the money behind it, hedge fund manager Chris Hansen, in a press conference that sounded more like a pep rally. They bathed the plan in glowing terms as filled with private investment and risk free to the taxpayers.

But the truth is that it has a long way to go. It has a lot of moving parts and any number of things can kill it. That it starts with Hansen taking on the challenge of buying an NBA team.

The Associated Press explains it this way:

Hansen submitted a proposal to (Seattle) on Thursday that calls for $290 million in private investment, plus the cost of acquiring an NBA franchise, to help construct a facility that would cost between $450 million and $500 million.

According to a letter submitted by the Seattle native to the city, the remaining construction and development costs would be financed by the city and King County using taxes and revenues generated by the new facility and rent charged to the teams playing in the arena. City officials are adamant that there will be no new public taxes needed for the building.

Basically it works like this: The city will go through the process — environmental impact reports and the like — and get everything in place. Then all Hansen has to do is buy an NBA team and recruit an NHL team to play in the building. Once he does that, he will put his money in, the city will put its money in and construction will start.

The NBA is not going to expand, so Hansen would have to buy an existing team and move it. That is where Sacramento rumors come in, as there have been rumblings that a new investor (at the least) could come in there and the team almost moved to Anaheim last summer. The league has a team for sale but doesn’t want it moved out of New Orleans. Yet. And other teams do come on the market — it’s usually just not that easy to move them

But Seattle has a start on getting the Sonics back. It’s a long, long road but the first steps have been taken.