Kings’ chances of staying may be hurt by sweetened Anaheim pot

Monday is the final day for the Maloof family to decide if they want to keep the Sacramento Kings in the capital city for at least another year or if they want to move to the same town as Mickey Mouse. Earlier this week, the NBA recommended that the team stay in town for the 2011-12 season which would give the city 10 months to come up with a plan for a possible new arena. All the efforts the city has been making to get corporate sponsorship on board have been very great. Mayor Kevin Johnson has been making more and more progress than anyone else has made regarding getting an arena in a decade.

However, despite all the great efforts in Sacramento, it turns out the Maloofs are still interested in packing up and moving to Southern California. According to CBS 13 in Sacramento and the Orange County Register, the Maloofs told the NBA Relocation Committee that they won’t go back to Sacramento and still want to move to Anaheim and the Honda Center. There’s a big reason why…

If the move to Anaheim comes to life, the Maloofs would get a $75 million loan from businessman Henry Samueli and the team would get a six year, $24 million television deal, plus the Honda Center would get $70 million in upgrades. At those prices, it is easy to see why the owners of the team wouldn’t want to come back.

As it stands, the league isn’t interested in a third Los Angeles area team. At the same time, the league has yet to veto a move. Is there a first time for everything? Sure. There’s a chance that a move to Anaheim is blocked by league owners. If that happens, there could be legal action involved in order to get the desired move they want for their team.

All of this hasn’t really surprised me. I appreciate the efforts the city, the sponsors,and even the fans have made. They’ve been very noble and have certainly not gone unnoticed. However, the chances of the team staying were still pretty slim. In my view, they had a 30-percent chance of staying, which was up from 2-percent just a month ago. Also, when you fight a battle with Southern California, you’re bound to lose. There’s more money down there and whatever money you try and come up with, they’ll come up with twice or three times more of it. So far, any offer Sacramento is making, Anaheim is making much more sweeter.

Ultimately, the Maloofs will probably get what they want despite the league’s wishes and they will more than likely file relocation papers in 48 hours or less. It’s sad to say that, but when that kind of a deal is on the table for them right now, how could they turn it down? What else would two spoiled rich kids want other than money they didn’t earn? It’s been their way of life. I would love to think otherwise, but I’d be lying to you if I did. I do think these guys might be making a mistake,though.

I think a new downtown arena would be great for the city. It has done wonders for cities like Orlando and Indianapolis and has revitalized those cities. I can’t help but imagine that it would do the same for this city and would provide excitement for the town itself. It would kind of be like when the Giants were building Pacific Bell Park. Years before it even opened I was excited for it. I couldn’t wait to see the Giants play in their new home and it is a spectacular baseball stadium. That sort of excitement could happen for Sacramento, unfortunately the Maloofs aren’t excited about anything but $75 million and to be on TV.

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