Let's face it; the Sacramento Kings move to Southern California is a done deal. Every fan is holding out for a rejection when the owners vote, but that isn't going to happen.
The Kings will be 32 miles from Staples Center, the home of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers, in the Anaheim Honda Center. Some say this will be enough reason for the owners to vote the move down. The truth is, however, that the area can easily support another NBA team.
The population of the four counties making up the greater Los Angeles basin is over 15 million—Orange County is just over three million people by itself.
With L.A. County having almost 10 million in population alone, the impact to the other NBA teams in the region will be negligible.
Based on these numbers alone, the owners will most likely approve the move—as there are more than enough basketball fans to buy tickets and memorabilia. Everybody will be making plenty of money.
The Maloof’s have already picked out the new name for the team. They recently trademarked both the Anaheim Royals and the Los Angeles Royals. If they end up at the Honda Center, there is a requirement that Anaheim be in the team name, per published reports.
Another indication the move is going to happen, is that the Kings have been playing a lot of games wearing Royals throwback jerseys. If ever a team’s management wanted to announce a move to a new location, what better way to do it?
Will NBA owners reject the move by the Kings?
The odd thing that some people have pointed out is the Honda Center actually has about 300 less seats than the Power Balance Pavilion. So why move?
The reason is simple: money. With only 30 luxury suites in Sacramento, the Maloof's are losing out on the high-end basketball fan. The Honda Center, with 80 suites, presents a much more lucrative opportunity for the team.
This is one of the main reasons the Maloof’s have been asking for a new venue in Sacramento. Working with the NBA and the city council, they tried hard to make a new venue a reality.
Unfortunately, the shortsighted Sacramento voters have consistently nixed any possibility of this happening over the past several years—effectively killing the project when they voted down a quarter-cent sales tax increase to fund construction.
While some have compared the Sacramento situation to that of Seattle, the issue is far from similar.
In Seattle, the new ownership always wanted the team in Oklahoma City. Even though they played along with the city of Seattle, there was never any real doubt that the team would end up in Oklahoma.
The Maloof’s have wanted to keep the team in Sacramento because of the fan support. But lacking a new NBA quality venue, the team is doing the only thing it can do as a business model—move.
Sorry, Sacramento, but you only have yourself to blame for the Kings fleeing to Southern California.