News for 1/21/13

Update 11:00 PM – Tomorrow at 2 PM Mayor Johnson will hold a press conference where further plans to keep the Kings in Sacramento will be unveiled, possibly including the disclosure of one or more assembled bidding groups for the the franchise.

NorCal has it pretty good these days in terms of sports. Unless you’re a Raider fan. Or the Kings fan. About the Kings…

  • Around the end of the AFC Championship Game, a flurry of reports from national sources had the purchase/sale agreement between the Maloofs and the Hansen-Ballmer group sewn up, with the paperwork being submitted as early as tonight. The price hasn’t budged from the oft-discussed figure: a $525 million valuation with the Hansen-Ballmer group paying for a 65% majority share, or $341.25 million. One new wrinkle is the Maloofs’ demand of a non-refundable $30 million deposit, which sounds like either pure desperation on the buyers’/sellers’ part or a sign that the move will be rubber stamped with it reaches the NBA’s Board of Governors. The remaining 35% of minority shares have not been arranged to be sold in any way except for a 7% chunk that will be sold in a bankruptcy proceeding. For their part, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and forces in Cowtown continue to work towards providing a counteroffer. It’s unclear if that counteroffer will get more than a cursory look. [Pro Basketball Talk/Aaron Bruski | ESPN/Marc Stein]
  • In the latest Matier & Ross column, there’s an item about John Fisher attending a Warriors game courtside with W’s owner Joe Lacob. “That prompted one East Bay mover and shaker to speculate that a deal might be in the offing for Lacob to buy the A’s,” a notion that was summarily shut down by Lew Wolff. Hmmm, who could that East Bay mover and shaker be? Perhaps someone who is working as a consultant for the Warriors to move the team to SF? Grasping at straws, anyone? [SF Chronicle/Matier & Ross]
  • Lew Wolff spoke at the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Economic Forecast breakfast on Thursday. SVBJ had one choice quote from Wolff, “I want people in LA to say ‘the one place in California I want to build is San Jose.’ ” Wolff also joked, “Next time I’ll take on the pyramids instead of baseball.” Nonsense, Lew. You just have to be more of a dick to the other owners to get your way. [Silicon Valley Business Journal/Shana Lynch]
  • A little-reported story on this blog has ended rather quietly. That would be the ballad of Charlotte lawyer Jerry Reese, who filed lawsuit after lawsuit against the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County to prevent a AAA ballpark from being built there. Reese’s reasoning was that any such deal would impair the market’s ability to get a major league stadium deal done. After a judge threatened sanctions, Reese agreed to settle and drop all lawsuits, including those related to a AAA ballpark under construction in Uptown Charlotte. Charlotte is considered a somewhat overextended market for MLB to begin with so it’s hard to take such an effort seriously, but you can’t blame Reese for trying. [Charlotte Observer/Gary L. Wright]
  • No surprise that the Chargers will stay in San Diego at least through the 2013 season. Better to wait until the AEG sale happens (or doesn’t). [ Hanzus]
  • Cleveland Browns Stadium will now be known as “FirstEnergy Stadium, Home of the Cleveland Browns”. Poetic. [Cleveland Plain Dealer/Tom Reed]
  • The 49ers may hold off on selling naming rights to their stadium until the proper deal comes in. With all of the advance money coming in, they can afford to wait. One thing they don’t have compared to another unnamed stadium, Cowboys Stadium, is the sheer number of events held annually that can help draw enough attention for a company to justify the naming rights fee. I imagine that the 49ers will get a naming rights deal done before Super Bowl L in 2016, the better for a bidder to take advantage as MetLife will prior to Super Bowl XLVIII. [SF Chronicle/Matier & Ross]
  • One stadium is getting rid of its naming rights sponsor, Sporting Park in Kansas City, KS. They’re distancing themselves from Livestrong for obvious reasons. One not-so-obvious reason: the MLS All-Star Game will be held there this year. No need for a tarnished brand to represent the league in that manner. [Reuters/Simon Evans]
  • The Cubs have unveiled plans for their massive renovation of Wrigley Field. Besides the oft-reported newer, larger clubhouses, there will also be two large club areas behind the plate, expanded concourse areas throughout, and a patio in the left field corner. One new deal point is that the Ricketts family is willing to pay for the $300 million themselves as long as the City of Chicago/Cook County doesn’t start placing a bunch of restrictions on what the club can/can’t do at Wrigley. More night games, anyone? [Bleacher Nation]
  • Sports economist Andrew Zimbalist considers downtown Tampa the best place for a Rays ballpark. That won’t make the keep-em-in-St. Pete-crowd happy. [Tampa Bay Times/Stephen Nohlgren]
  • One community in Florida is having a tough time figuring out what to do with a stadium-related sales tax once the stadium is paid off. [Florida Today/Matt Reed]
  • It seems that the only way to introduce a new stadium concept in Las Vegas is to make it bigger and more ostentatious than the previous concepts. The UNLV Now concept has a $800-900 million cost attached to it. That seems very Vegas to me. The new wrinkle: a 100-yard long video screen stretched along one of the sidelines. Why put seats in the best place you could have a video screen there instead? [Las Vegas Sun/Ray Brewer]
  • The Oilers and the City of Edmonton are reportedly close to a new arena deal. Oilers ownership backed off a $6 million/year subsidy demand, which was a major sticking point previously. Instead, the team will be asking for more direct subsidies upfront. [Edmonton Journal/Marty Klinkenberg]
  • As the Kings prepare to leave their home of 25 years, another former Kings home may be up for demolition. That home is Kemper Arena, which was barely a decade old when the Kings moved from Kansas City to Sacramento in 1985. An effort is underway to save Kemper, spearheaded by the namesake’s descendants. Kemper Arena hosted the 1988 Final Four, numerous “home” games for the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team, and most ignominiously, the 1999 WWF event Over The Edge, during which Owen Hart plummeted 70 feet to his death from a malfunctioning harness. [KCTV-5/Chris Oberholtz]
  • According the Milken Institute, the South Bay is the #1 economic market in the country. SF/Peninsula is 36th, while the East Bay is 155th, below Vallejo-Fairfield and Fresno. Milken seems to attribute much a market’s economic power to its tech proliferation, which might penalize the East Bay, but if you look at the rankings, it doesn’t. [Milken Institute]
  • It what has to be considered your classic Friday afternoon bad news dump maneuver, Clorox announced that it’s selling its headquarters building in downtown Oakland for $110 million. The buyer is real estate firm Westcore Properties. Westcore is leasing back more than half of the building to Clorox, though the length of the lease was not disclosed. The news comes several months after Clorox relocated much of its R&D staff to Pleasanton. Now I can understand Clorox not wanting to deal with the overhead of being a landlord, and the company runs quite lean with a small cash position. But whenever you hear about similar sell/leaseback deals, they usually aren’t good. A similar deal was reported that very same day by Sony when the tech giant announced that it was selling its midtown Manhattan headquarters for $1.1 billion. The Maloofs sold and leased back ARCO Arena because they were low on cash. In other words, no one’s celebrating about this. [Oakland Tribune/George Avalos | Financial Times/Michiyo Nakamoto]

More as it comes. One quick viewing note: on most cable/satellite systems, NHL Center Ice is doing a free preview through the end of the month. Check your local provider.

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