February 21, 2011
Marc Stein of ESPN.com is reporting that the ownership group that runs the Kings, sick of banging its head against the wall while trying to procure financing for a Sacramento-area arena, might try to apply for relocation before the NBA's March 1 deadline. If all goes according to Marc's sources, the Kings would play in an NBA-ready arena in Anaheim during the 2011-12 season.
The Kings haven't made a final decision, but sources said team officials have been in Orange County, Calif., this month to gather more first-hand data on the feasibility and potential obstacles involved in trying to move to Anaheim's Honda Center at season's end after a 26-season run in Sacramento and numerous failed attempts to secure the financing needed for the construction of a new modern arena.
NBA commissioner David Stern publicly confirmed for the first time Saturday night at his annual All-Star Weekend news conference that the Kings have had discussions with Anaheim officials about a possible move.
Now, Kings co-owner Joe Maloof is obviously against the move on record, trotting out the usual claptrap about "looking at all of our options" to Stein, but anything short of a complete dismissal of the report tells you that, yeah, these guys are sniffing out a move.
You can't blame them. Sacramento's Arco Arena, while apparently a fantastic place to watch a game, is one of the NBA's oldest arenas, and completely lacking in the sort of money-making amenities that make a pro basketball team in Sacramento super-viable. Nobody wants to see the team go anywhere, but Jock Ewing once told us that "bidness is bidness," and the Maloofs would be out of their mind to not try and attempt to stop losing money hand over fist.
For Kings fans, however, this is a tough pill to swallow. The team has made its way across the continental 48 states over the last 70 years, from Rochester to Cincinnati to Kansas City to Kansas City-Omaha (so that's where the Angels got their idea) to Sacto, and a dedicated group of Kings backers would like the 1985 move to California's capital to be the last in the line.
Tom Ziller and the crew at Sactown Royalty (a blog that predates about 80 percent of the websites you've visited today) are attempting to sell out the team's game next Monday against the Los Angeles Clippers. Even with Arco's limited capacity, this is no small feat, but with the Kings' help (wait; isn't that a little fishy?), the SR crew might pull it off:
If you want to buy tickets for yourself, your friends or your family, this is the link. Using "Kings" as an offer code will waive your TicketMaster fees, thanks to the team. (Thanks, team!) You can literally get two tickets for $20 with the fees waived. Such a good deal. (You can also call the Kings' box office, and some members have included their ticket rep's info in these threads. If you looking to go lower-level, you're probably better off calling it in. More wiggle room down there.)
Though the Kings have been lacking in the attendance department, sadly, this isn't the answer. A new arena, replete with skyboxes and suites as far as the eye can see, is.
But it doesn't hurt to try, and it's super-fun to cheer. After all, if the Anaheiminites want to see a Kings game, why don't they just drive to Arco for a change? They might get a chance to see Governor Jerry Brown in the parking lot, selling oranges out of the trunk of his Volvo.