The Kings’ current home, Power Balance Pavilion, is the oldest arena in the NBA, built in 1987 for $40 million.
The allure that the building once had when it was named ARCO Arena is no longer there. It is no longer filled with loud cowbells and foreign players, but with deflated egos and inexperience on the court.
According to the New York Times, Philadelphia-based company Comcast-Spectacor has proposed a partnership with Virginia Beach to build an arena for 18,000 spectators and begin a 25-year lease. The Maloof brothers must love the prospect of working with a company with experience owning the Wells Fargo Center, home to the Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers.
Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms has shown support of this move according to the same New York Times report, and Gov. Bob McDonnell has also shown his approval of acquiring a major sports team.
Meanwhile, the Maloof brothers have been engaged with the city of Sacramento for well over a year to obtain a deal for a new arena.
The Maloof brothers and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson reached an agreement on a non-binding term sheet on February 27 that a new $391 million arena would be built in the city’s confines. That deal was reported “dead” by ESPN on April 14.
Since then, USA Today reported that the executive director of a Sacramento committee established by Johnson called Think Big reportedly asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to initiate a federal investigation into the Maloof brothers under allegations that they may have broken “criminal laws.”
Between the indecisiveness of Kings ownership and the bend-but-don’t-break mentality that Johnson has operated under, these two parties have completely soured their relationship.
The differences between the two sides in negotiation are irreconcilable. It is time for the Maloof Brothers to cut ties with this lingering drama and for Johnson to save face and his city’s tax dollars.