Sports Opinion & Analysis

Pretty Much The Worst Idea Ever

In NBA on August 29, 2012 at 10:42 am

When word broke a week ago that the Maloof brothers, owners of the Sacramento (For Now) Kings, were again in the process of attempting to move the team out of Sacramento, I can’t say I wasn’t surprised.

The Maloofs, after all, already blew off a deal that would’ve secured them a brand new stadium in the heart of downtown Sacramento. After saying for years the team would not relocate if only give a new stadium, the Maloofs real intentions were revealed once it was time to follow through with their word. After unsuccessfully attempting to relocate the team to Anaheim, the writing has been on the wall in the capital of California, regardless of how “committed” to the city the Maloofs keep saying they are.

Heck, it’s as if the Maloofs don’t even want to sell their own merchandise to their fans anymore.

This is what you see when you attempt to log-on to the Kings online team shop. It’s been like this since June.

As I have repeatedly said, this is an unfortunate outcome for the city of Sacramento, considering the region has the make up of other small markets who are able to support their team. With the young talent on the roster, the team could be a potential sequel to the Oklahoma City Thunder. With the passion of its fan base, as demonstrated during the team’s Weber-era, the team could be resemblance of the San Antonio Spurs, who always have strong showings for their games. The ingredients for success are there, all the team needs is the correct leadership to make it happen. Unfortunately, as long as the Maloofs are in charge, that will not happen, and it will not happen in Sacramento.

While the Kings moving from the place they’ve called home since 1985 is a bad idea, especially after given every opportunity to make their current situation work, it is an even worse idea to relocate the team to, of all places, Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Logo of the future?

I have nothing against Virginia Beach. It is a beautiful vacation town, but in reality that’s all it is, and regardless of what some of the locals think, it’s not a vacation town that can support an NBA franchise. Nor does it deserve one, especially when places like Seattle, who had their team stolen away, are still waiting for a replacement. Or Kansas City, which already has one of the nicest arenas in the country, which, except for arena football or an occasional concert, sits vacant.

While the Kings moving to Virginia Beach has seemingly died down over the last few days, the city council there is still hearing proposals about building a sports arena in the area. They should not. Just because Los Angeles is putting the cart in front of the horse and building an NFL stadium before they have a team, doesn’t mean other cities should follow suite. This should not become a trend. Cities should not start popping up venues in the hopes of stealing another cities team. Just because the second biggest market in the nation can get away with it, doesn’t mean everyone can. Virginia Beach is not Los Angeles. Heck, it’s not even Kansas City, and look how well building the Sprint Center has worked out.  My point is, get in line Virginia Beach. There are a lot of cities with stadiums and arenas already, and they’ve been waiting a lot longer for a professional sports franchise then you.

Lastly, it’s too bad the Maloofs didn’t put in half the sincere effort of building a new stadium in the city they already play, instead of always looking for greener pastures elsewhere.

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  1. A couple of problems. LA is not building a stadium until a team is formally committed. The Sacramento market is microscopic, shrinking and has zero corporate support. The arena was not being built by the city (that’s why the Maloofs never bought on; more and more costs were being shifted to them). As for Seattle, their support of the Sonics was similar: an aging arena is fine enough for you guys. You might also want to check Mariners attendance: at the bottom of MLB. Anyone with sophistication didn’t even talk about VB because it’s an obvious attempt at publicity.

    Other than that, nice job!

    • Including the ramifications of SB 292, the city of Los Angeles is in the legal process of building a stadium for a team they don’t even have yet (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/08/lawsuit-planned-against-the-states-nfl-stadium-bill.html). For all intents and purposes, L.A. is putting the cart before the horse when it comes to building a facility without a permanent tenant.

      As for Sacramento, the market is small, and corporate support is scarce, but the market is bigger than San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Milwaukee, and a few other cities that sustain professional basketball teams. There is no reason why Sacramento can’t hold on to their team, if given a proper place to house them. You are wrong about an older stadium being fine for the city. Given Power Balance’s current state, no free agent worth his merit will willingly agree to play in that stadium, especially if given the chance to play in even smaller markets with state-of-the-art venues. Getting a new stadium to lure talent is the first step in refilling the seats with fans who have been jaded with poor ownership and poor financial decisions.

      Speaking of poor financial decisions, considering how little the Maloofs have currently paid for Power Balance Pavilion, or how much they expected taxpayer to fork out in their 2006 failed effort to get a stadium built, the small costs of the most recently failed stadium attempt was a small cost in the larger scheme of things. The city of Sacramento may not have been building the stadium for them, but they were going to invest $225 million dollars into the deal by privatizing their parking.

      Lastly, certain news sources, including by not limited to; ESPN, CBS Sports, Bleacher Report, and CNN commented on how Virginia Beach was a possible destination for the Kings. Maybe it’s just me though, who thinks these sources merit some “sophistication.” My mistake.

      No one is saying Sacramento will ever become a “destination” city, especially when it resides in a state that includes Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Sacramento is what it is, and that’s an area with roughly two million people, and is capital of one of the most powerful states in the union. No one is asking for the moon or stars in Sacramento when it comes to the Kings, all they’re asking is to keep a team they already have.

      Thanks for reading.

  2. In a story called “Pretty Much The Worst Idea Ever”, you somehow manage to say “I have nothing against Virginia Beach.” and then “My point is, get in line Virginia Beach.” We’ve been in line. We haven’t had a pro team AT ALL since the mid-70s, which is much further back than Kansas City or Seattle lost their teams (never mind the Royals, Chiefs, Seahawks, Mariners, Sounders…). And KC is only ~40,000 larger than Virginia Beach anyway — it’s not apples and oranges. Do your homework. And let’s get rid of the idea that certain places “deserve” pro teams and other places don’t. It’s about money and it’s a business. L.A. probably “deserves” a lot more than it has, but the deal didn’t work and both their teams skipped town. It’s not a meritocracy. I would love to discuss this further if you want to shoot me an e-mail.

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