Inside Business, a local business journal in Hampton Roads, reported today (citing unnamed sources) that the Maloofs, owners of the Sacramento Kings, are currently negotiating with Comcast-Spectacor to move the team to a Comcast-owned building in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Upon hearing the news, I did a face-palm.
Virginia Beach? Really?
When have you ever heard Virginia Beach being mentioned as a future home for any major league sports franchise? What makes the Maloof brothers, or anyone, think that a team in Virginia Beach could work?
Virginia Beach is primarily a resort town and part of the Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News media market, the 43rd largest media market in the country, according to Nielsen. That alone makes the move highly suspect (the NBA's smallest television market right now is New Orleans, at 52). However, while some markets on this list will be ranked lower than Virginia Beach, they also won't face some of the same challenges as Virginia Beach (Oklahoma City is actually ranked 44th).
Now, the good news for Sacramento is that the Maloofs told the local CBS affiliate in Sacramento that there is no move imminent; however, where there is smoke, there's usually fire.
Here's a look at 10 better markets for the Kings and the NBA than Virginia Beach.