Report: Deal to relocate the Sacramento Kings to Virginia Beach falls apart

There is good news for Sacramento Kings fans coming out of Virginia Beach this morning.  According to WAVY-TV’s Sport Director Bruce Radar, an agreement could not be reached between Comcast-Spectacor and an unnamed NBA team, presumed to be the Sacramento Kings.

“Today, Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms and Peter Luukko, the president of Comcast-Spectacor, will release a joint statement regarding their ongoing negotiations to get the arena deal done,” Radar wrote on the WAVY-TV website.  “Unfortunately, those negotiations are at a stand-still.”

An official statement from Virginia Beach Mayor Sessoms and Luukko of Comcast-Spectacor can be found below.  Sessoms had set a Monday deadline for negotiations to move forward with the unnamed NBA team.  With Monday coming and going and no agreement in place, speculation had grown that there would be no deal.

“The city doesn’t see a clear opportunity at this point and as such it’s not something we’re aggressively going after,” Sessoms told the Virginia Pilot this morning.

Even if an agreement had been reached in principle, there were still many hurdles to get past for Virginia Beach, including a request for $150 million in bond money from the state of Virginia and approval from the NBA Board of Governors.

Virginia Beach is the second city that has attempted to lure the Kings away from Sacramento.  A deal was reached with the city of Anaheim and billionaire Henry Samueli to move the Kings to the Honda Center in early 2011, but the NBA Board of Governors recommended that the Maloof family give Sacramento one more chance to get an arena deal in place.  After a year of putting together a deal that yielded a handshake agreement between the NBA, the city of Sacramento and the Maloof family on a new entertainment and sports complex in the downtown Sacramento Rail Yards, the Maloof family pulled out of the deal in 2012, leaving the team in limbo after 28 seasons in California’s capital city.

So it’s back to the drawing board for the Kings ownership group.  With the NBA relocation deadline less than two months away, they must decide quickly on the immediate future of the Sacramento Kings.

WAVY-10 with Mayor Sessoms:

No agreement reached on VB arena


Official statement from Virginia Beach and Comcast-Spectacor:


The city of Virginia Beach and Comcast-Spectacor are working diligently to reach an agreement to build an entertainment and sports arena at the Virginia Beach resort. Both parties remain committed to the concept of an arena in Virginia Beach and to continuing discussions with a potential anchor tenant.

That said, we have not reached a level of progress that will allow the city to go before the General Assembly to request the necessary funding. If the city is to secure support from the state, which is critical to this project, we must have a firm proposal for the legislature to consider. We must make more progress with our discussions.

We both firmly believe that Hampton Roads is ready for a large sports-and-entertainment venue.

  • This is still the largest market in the nation without a major-league sports team.
  • The Virginia Beach economy is strong and attractive to major entertainment acts and pro sports leagues.
  • The Oceanfront is an ideal location for the project with its proximity to the highway system, hotel infrastructure, Convention Center and parking.

Therefore, it is in the best interests of the city and Comcast-Spectacor to continue their discussions about how to make this happen.


James Ham

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