If Sacramento wants to keep the NBA in town, it is going to have to present a better package to the league.
At least that's what NBA Commissioner David Stern told reporters on Friday when comparing the offers from Sacramento and Seattle.
According to Antonio Gonzalez of The Associated Press, Stern says that the financial components of the deal are what is separating Seattle from Sacramento right now:
NBA Commissioner David Stern says Sacramento bid is "not quite there" financially compared to Seattle. He's hopeful it will be eventually.— Antonio Gonzalez (@agonzalezAP) March 9, 2013
Gonzalez also reported that Stern said the Maloof brothers, who used to own a majority stake in the Kings, "have seen" the Sacramento bid and that there will also be another meeting next month to discuss the situation:
Stern said representatives of the Maloofs have seen Sacramento bid. Wouldn't elaborate but said right now "there's a substantial variance."— Antonio Gonzalez (@agonzalezAP) March 9, 2013
Stern says there will be meeting April 3 on Sacramento-Seattle situation to avoid chaos that has occurred in past at BOG meeting.— Antonio Gonzalez (@agonzalezAP) March 9, 2013
The group that originally bought the Kings back in January, which included Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer, is based out of Seattle and wants to bring the NBA back to the city after the SuperSonics left for Oklahoma City following the 2007-08 season.
Despite the late resurgence from the city of Sacramento to try to keep the Kings (which also includes Mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson saying that he hopes Seattle gets a team someday, but "it is not going to be this team"), it appears the Emerald City remains in the lead.
Leaving Sacramento wouldn't be the worst thing for the Kings franchise. The team hasn't been competitive in the Western Conference for years, to the point where it now ranks last in the league in attendance.
When the Kings were battling the Los Angeles Lakers for Western Conference supremacy in the early 2000s, ARCO Arena was one of the best venues in all of sports. Years of mediocrity and poor ownership have left the fanbase very numb to the present product.