Virginia Beach Drops Bid to Land Sacramento Kings and What It Means for Future

Sim Risso@@SimRissoFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2013

The Maloofs, owners of the Kings, won't comment on relocation or what happened in Virginia Beach.
The Maloofs, owners of the Kings, won't comment on relocation or what happened in Virginia Beach.Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Another bullet was dodged by Sacramento Kings fans, this one in the form of Virginia Beach, VA., as it appears the city is dropping its attempts to lure the franchise out of Sacramento.

According to Dale Kasler and Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee, Virginia Beach is unwilling to go any further on the project because of its inability to reach a deal on a new arena. That's something Sacramento residents can relate to after the city's been unable to land an arena deal for years, putting the organization in this calamitous position to begin with.

"This just ain't gonna work at this point in time," Virginia Beach's mayor, Will Sessoms, told The Bee.

The plan was for the city and Comcast-Spectacor, who was expected to be a partner in the project, to reach an agreement by Jan. 8, that way they could bring the proposal to the Virginia legislature, which is expected to convene on Jan. 9 and go through mid-February. But since an agreement between the two parties wasn't reached by the deadline, the city has called off its proposal to the state legislature.

Both Comcast-Spectacor and Virginia Beach issued a joint statement saying they haven't "reached a level of progress that will allow the city to go before the General Assembly to request the necessary funding."

As part of the proposal, Virginia Beach was expected to contribute $241 million to the project, with Comcast-Spectacor chipping in a reported $35 million. If the two sides had struck a deal and gone to the legislature with the proposal, they were expected to ask the state to contribute $150 million to the project.

The project hit a snag a month ago, when Virginia governor Bob McDonnell rejected including money for a new arena as part of his budget, according to the Sacramento Bee. However, that appears to be a moot point now, as the city won't even be going to the state legislature with an official proposal in the first place.

As has been their custom, the Maloofs, the owners of the Kings, declined to comment on today's happenings or anything involving a potential relocation, releasing their customary statement through spokesman Eric Rose:

"As we have said for nearly a year, we have been contacted by several cities and parties interested in the Sacramento Kings organization. The announcement today from Virginia Beach does not change our long-held position that we will not comment on rumors or speculation about the franchise."

So, what does it mean for the organization's future in Sacramento?

Unfortunately, beyond stating the obvious, that Virginia Beach is apparently out of the sweepstakes, it doesn't mean much for the Kings' future in Sacramento.

With the Maloofs unwilling to comment on anything involving a relocation, all we can do is go by their public posturing, which tells us that the relocation issue isn't dead. In fact, it likely won't be dead until the team either relocates or gets a new arena in Sacramento. To that end, nothing has been accomplished since a deal fell apart in April of 2012.

So ultimately, the Kings fans may have dodged the Virginia Beach bullet; unfortunately, there will likely be more heading their way soon enough.


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