A looming word that is frightening and yet a potential reality for Kings fans in Sacramento to face.
The land swap deal that would have netted the Kings and an investment group the current fair grounds, known as Cal Expo, was shot down by the state. This had been the most recent and feasible arena proposal to come about in quite some time.
With the state and city alike in a financial bind, an arena is just not attainable at the moment.
But boy would it pay dividends if the city had the balls to back it.
The city has been none too supportive of the team, aside from previous mayors and their current one, Kevin Johnson. A little over a decade ago rumors were swirling about the team moving to Memphis, but the late Mayor Serna fought to keep the Kings around.
The Kings could be looking at another Supersonics catastrophe on their hands a decade later.
The Maloof's have been patient and done what they can without going too far into their own pockets to make things happen. But eleven years of thumb twiddling would wear on anyone.
Eleven years is the amount of time the Maloof family has attempted to break ground on a new arena.
No dice yet.
If the politicians in Sacramento are interested at all in helping to build a more lively downtown area, (which they don't appear to be), a new arena would be a great place to start. State of the art venues attract top acts and special events not all cities could host.
Not to mention breathe significant life into what is a slowly growing bar/club scene.
The Maloofs have come out and said they are disappointed with the cities decision, but are not giving up hope.
NBA commissioner David Stern will be stepping in to help act as a third party negotiating between the Maloofs and politicians at the state's capitol.
Mayor Johnson has been a strong proponent of the arena initiative, even speaking at Kings events in recent memory and working with the team. He has put forth bills and propositions to help stimulate growth in the Sacramento area, to help make it a more metropolitan area.
A larger quantity of television shows and movies have been filmed in Sacramento in recent years, including the very successful CBS show, The Mentalist, which also takes place there.
Season tickets sales are up this year and the Maloofs are anticipating to be in the black for the first time in quite a while, according to Fox 40 News. This is great news, as more money in the pocket means more money to help back an arena, hopefully.
In the current economic times Sacramento has been hit just as hard, if not harder, than many cities. It fosters one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation at 13.1 percent. So a new arena is a very tall order and will be tougher to get done than in previous years considering the circumstances.
All that aside, the immense talent and upside of this Kings team has to be considered. Their potential is too high to let get away. Not just because of the basketball team, but the promise of a new arena for the team would pay the city back in many ways.
I'm sure Seattle fans would say the same about the Sonics; at least they have two other crappy teams.
Assuming no headway is made with an arena soon, the question the Maloofs will undoubtedly be asking themselves in the coming years would be best phrased by The Clash:
Should I stay or should I go?
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