The web is exploding with news this afternoon that the hapless Sacramento Kings have all-but-finalized a move to Seattle, Washington on the backs of a $500 million offer made to the Maloof Brothers by a Seattle ownership group.
If the Kings do make the move, it won’t be all that surprising, given their very public flirtation about this time last year with a potential ownership group in Anaheim, California. In spite of all Mayor Kevin Johnson has done — himself once a very good NBA point guard — the Maloofs want out of Sactown, and they seem as resolute as ever to make that happen.
There’s another player in these talks, however, that is the biggest loser, even bigger than the City of Sacramento itself:
Virginia Beach, Virginia.
The town’s economic development authority and city leaders spent nearly $2.1 million on a plan to pitch the Kings a 90 percent local funding deal which would have included a two-year public subsidy at no cost to the Kings. (via Sactown Royalty)
The ability of Virginia Beach to make a serious offer to Sacramento for the Kings was dependent upon an arena financing deal getting done up front — which fell through — and in the process seriously hampered the dream of locals to field an NBA franchise. The area could again emerge as a player for future NBA expansion teams, but they aren’t in the running now, and in the process their coffers are $2.1 million lighter.
Assuming the Seattle move falls through and the Kings continue to stay on the market, my advice to potential relocation destinations is this:
If you see the Maloofs in town, don’t jog, sprint as far away in the other direction as possible, or else.