Why Seattle’s arena push shouldn’t worry Sacramento

Are Kings’ fans in Sacramento freaking out or is the media freaking out for the them? I can’t really tell.

Nonetheless, everyone needs to pop a Xanax or down a shot of scotch. Take a load off.

Here lie the many problems for Seattle – and there are more than plenty to go around.

The Maloofs have said they are not selling, but let’s say they are offered an insane amount of money the family can’t refuse. Everything is for sale at the right price. So, if the Vegas loving brothers sell, they’ll want to hit a major jackpot.

We are talking at least $400 million for the Maloofs, since the Hornets sold for $310 million when revenue sharing didn’t exist. Throw in another $400 million – the price tag of new Seattle arena. And I’m sure owners around the league will charge a relocation fee (it cost Clay Bennett $30 million to move from Seattle to Oklahoma City), so tally that in. Also the Kings owe the city of Sacramento a $75-million loan.

And there’s more.

The Maloofs also owe the NBA close to $100 million.

Is your calculator out?

The sum of those five parts add up to roughly $1 billion to relocate the Kings to the Emerald City.

Christopher Hansen’s Valliant Capital Management has assets valued just over $800-million, according to reports from the company.

If Hansen somehow can get the money, he still needs to get though a list of political hurdles.

The Seattle Times wrote:

While (Hansen) acknowledged that an arena can’t be a burden on taxpayers, the package is expected to include a combination of private money and tax revenues spun from the facility.

Hansen and the city of Seattle need at least a year to convince taxpayers to rethink their yes vote on Initiative 91 in 2006 – a measure that mandates an arena be profitable if there is public investment.

That initiative passed when the SuperSonics were seeking a new home and were on the verge of selling to an owner who ultimately skipped town. Even if Hansen can get around the mandate, he has to change public perception.

And has anyone checked with the Mariners? Would the Major League Baseball club just sit back and say ‘yes’ to any and all development going on south of Safeco Field?

Also, have enough tests and studies been conducted on Hansen’s proposed site? More property is likely needed to build a new arena in Seattle. That costs even more money and more importantly time.

Speaking of the clock, it takes a lot of time and patience when dealing with city and county governments on major projects like arenas and stadiums. Forget financing, what about the environmental impact reports?

There is also the competition.

Kansas City. Remember them? They built a shiny new arena in 2007. The Sprint Center already hosts hundreds of events a year. Seems like a bigger threat than a plot with an old warehouse on it to me.

Even with Seattle and Kansas City, don’t forget the NBA is not nearly as open to selling and relocating as it appears. Larry Ellison is living proof that just because you have money doesn’t mean you’ll get an NBA team.

The Oracle CEO, who’s worth an estimated $27-billion, reportedly bid $350-million for the Hornets, yet still lost to the league, who paid previous owner George Shinn $310-million. Even though Ellison, who allegedly had plans of moving the team to San Jose, had an arena and thriving business climate, NBA brass still said ‘no thanks.’

I’m not saying it can’t be done in Seattle, but seeing the Kings move to the Northwest at this point seems more fairytale than reality.

Seattle makes its announcement about its proposed plan to build a new arena today at a 2 pm news conference.

Weekly contributor/columnist Rob McAllister is a reporter for KFBK Radio in Sacramento.  You can follow him on Twitter.


Cowbell Kingdom
Assorted news and information brought to you by the team at Cowbell Kingdom.

8 Replies to "Why Seattle's arena push shouldn't worry Sacramento"