NBA relocation committee votes against Kings move

Just in: the NBA’s relocation committee voted unanimously to reject a relocation of the Sacramento Kings to Seattle. This preliminary vote is meant to be a recommendation to the greater Board of Governors. Given that it was a 12-0 vote, the decision effectively kills any chance of the sale and relocation being approved. It’s possible that Seattle’s Hansen-Ballmer group could launch a lawsuit against the NBA, but that would interfere with any future consideration for either an expansion franchise or another potentially relocated franchise such as the Milwaukee Bucks.

Now it’s up to Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and the “local” ownership group headed by Vivek Ranadive and Mark Mastrov to pull through with the money parts of the deal. KJ and the City Council have to get an EIR passed, put up $250 million in arena bonds, and work out the financial details, which aren’t yet finalized. As for the “whales”, they have to put up their half of the arena through realized pledges from the community. After years of Maloof-caused turmoil, Kings fans can for once breathe easily. The Capitol will keep its team. I can practically hear the cowbells from 90 miles away.

24 thoughts on “NBA relocation committee votes against Kings move

  1. Congrats Sac! Hopefully they (Sac pols) come through with the new digs.

  2. congrats sac, the fan base, and especially mayor johnson for doing all they could to keep that team in that city.

  3. Woohoo! So glad to see the greater good triumph over money. You deserve your team, Sactown. Eat it, Microsoft.

  4. BTW,
    not shedding one tear for Seattle. They already have the Mariners, Seahawks and Sounders. They can now try for NHL if they really want a fourth major franchise..

  5. I’ll believe it when I see a shovel in the dirt, but congrats to Sac for a victory in this round.

    As ML stated, The Milwaukee Bucks are on the clock. I’d like to think the good, frugal upper Midwestern folks will tell them to take a hike (and many of them are STILL bitter over the Miller Park funding), but who knows? Bradley Center is still a fine place to watch a game. The Bucks are a franchise that sells $10 sideline/low row upper deck season tickets–who do they think will be buying the upscale clubs and suites above and beyond what they have to sell now? It’s Milwaukee…

    Beyond that…I’ve been to the other arenas built pre-2000, all seemed up-to-date but Phoenix. What other team needs Seattle (or KC/Vancouver) as a stalking horse? (That’s assuming the W’s get theirs built.)

  6. Great news. Sacramento really stepped up. We completely deserve to keep our team. And the new arena will be great for downtown, and the region’s economy.

  7. the only other “old venue” a team plays in is min. napear on 1140 recently said he’d rank the target center in min as one of the worst nba venues in the league. i don’t know who supports their team more between those two franhises, min or mil, but can’t see any other team leaving anytime soon.

    memphis supposedly has a iron clad lease deal and the hornets imo were always the team along with sac in the past 3-4 years that i thought could move, that franchise as a whole has the lowest attendance/tv ratings in the nba but since they were bought up by the saints ownership group, they aren’t moving either anytime soon too.

    bobcats in charlotte could be an option but can’t see the nba moving a franchise from that city twice in the past dozen years.

  8. @letsogoas,
    Your last paragraph begs the question: why was Charlotte awarded NBA franchises in the first place?
    OT question: does anyone know where the parade would be if the Warriors won it all?

  9. If KJ were mayor of Oaktown – the A’s would likely be playing in a new ballpark – in Oakland by now. Sacramento has accomplished (in two months)what Oakland city officials haven’t been able to accomplish in 18 years. It appears that Lew Wolff has been spot on about the A’s Oakland situation – and that the A’s indeed know the way to SJ.

  10. Not to go unnoticed is the credit to be given to Stern and the NBA’s office for taking a stand, unlike Selig and MLB who continue to keep the A’s in limbo regarding their desired move to San Jose. This inaction on the part of MLB will eventually force the A’s to relocate away from their current Bay Area market.

  11. Charlotte was awarded the Bobcats because they had filled their 23,000 seat arena (?!?!) for years until Shinn became unpopular following constant whining about the arena and a high-profile sexual harassment suit. I guess the NBA figured that it was an unpopular owner problem rather than a market problem. But it turns out that apparently Shinn poisoned the well of that whole market.

  12. Shinn also in effect stopped the giants move to Tampa, and is responsible for keeping the team in SF. MLB was set to ok the giants sale to the current Tampa Bay Rays owners group, when Shinn stepped in at the last minute with a bid to buy the team, which MLB was obliged to consider until the the McGowan group was organized and purchased the team later. Without Shinn’s bid, the gnats would have been sold and made the move to Tampa.

  13. @Brian and duffer,
    Thanks.
    @llpec,
    The A’s aren’t leaving the Bay Area. (Worst case scenario: Fremont)

  14. re: Not to go unnoticed is the credit to be given to Stern and the NBA’s office for taking a stand, unlike Selig and MLB who continue to keep the A’s in limbo regarding their desired move to San Jose.

    …Selig keeps waiting for a solution to emerge in Oakland. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting…

  15. The Kings relocation saga is not over yet. The Seattle group can still find a way to convince/bribe half the NBA owners to vote it’s way May.

  16. The Kings only need 16 votes to stay and they already have 12 from the committee yesterday. They’re not going anywhere as long as they can get that arena built. Of course, that could be a big “if”

  17. re: If KJ were mayor of Oaktown – the A’s would likely be playing in a new ballpark – in Oakland by now.

    …the pols in Oakland have had plenty of time to find someone willing to own the A’s under the conditions set forth by the city – buy the team for $500 million or so and build a stadium for $500 million+ in Oakland, with no public funds for construction. No one has been found who is willing to acquire the A’s under these conditions or we’d have heard about them already.

  18. @ pjk – actually, the Sacramento group only has 7 votes going its way. The relocation committee was the only group that voted, and that went 7-zip. However, history has shown that the BOG votes in line with the committee’s recommendations, so any large variance from this would be a surprise.

    Some tinfoil-hatters up north have suggested that Hansen-Ballmer should continue through and try to buy the Kings, and keep applying on a yearly basis to relocate, but the approval for a sale under NBA rules takes 75% approval of the BOG, so just 8 votes can kill a sale, and the Sac folks already (at least theoretically) have 7 in their pocket.

    The ball is truly in Hansen-Ballmer’s court now; their recent statements indicate that they would like to continue to fight. If that is the case, they can kiss their hopes of expansion goodbye, and there’s not a lot of other teams out there that are good candidates to move (probably only MIL and CLT) – but if they keep up their current act the BOG will once again tell them to go piss up a rope.

    The Seattle folks gain much more by backing down right now – let’s see if they can tamp down their pride enough to do so.

    In the meantime, the Sacramento group needs to keep working and to nail this sucker down tight.

  19. What has happened here is unbelievable.

    The Maloofs after abiding by the NBA’s wishes and not forcing a move to Anaheim a few years back were told if they failed in Sacramento again with a new arena moving the team would be a moot point.

    The Kings are not worth 550M in Sacramento or 525M for that matter hence why the Sacramento group refused to put in a back up offer for the team. The team is worth at most 400M in Sacramento and KJ’s group knows it full well….expect a lawsuit from the Maloofs and here is why.

    The NBA is in violation of the law for multiple reasons:

    1. By voting on relocation first instead of the sale it shows collusion on the part of the NBA owners to lock out Seattle instead of voting on the sale of the team first, which had a binding PSA.

    2. The NBA also is colluding with the Ranadive and his group to secure new ownership for the team without the consent of the Maloofs who own the team.

    3. The NBA by shooting down relocation before the pending sale to Hansen-Ballmer has killed all negotiating leverage for the Maloofs with the Sacramento group who has been unwilling to this point to put a binding offer that matches the Hansen group in several regards….This is for sure is against the law….What is to stop Ranadive and his group to low ball the Maloofs with a 400M offer now?

    4. It was the Hansen group who filed for relocation not the Maloofs therefore the sale of the team had to be voted on first before any relocation discussion….Does this mean they will approve the Hansen group but not relocation? Wrong order of doing things…

    The NBA is acting like a “single entity” and not 30 different franchises who operate independently.

    The 30M deposit was just in case of a lawsuit and the Maloofs I believe are so mad at the NBA are huddling up to slap the NBA with an anti-trust lawsuit which they would easily win.

    The Clippers and Raiders won easily in the 1980s and American Needle vs. NFL decision also shows the Maloofs would have a strong case.

    It is about to get ugly…I would not be surprised if the deal goes through without NBA consent and Hansen-Ballmer take control of the team and go through the courts to move the team. Sterling moved the Clippers immediately in 1984 then the NBA sued him back and lost miserably in court.

    This really is Seattle’s last shot and they should go all the way…

  20. Also I forgot to add:

    The NBA needed to use “rule of reason” meaning the Kings can they be more profitable, have more fans, corporate support, etc…In Seattle rather than Sacramento?

    The answer to that is not even close….Seattle is a far larger market and NBA is doing what they tried to do to Sterling and the NFL did to Al Davis when they tried to move to larger markets.

  21. Sid: I’m not sure that Steve Ballmer, who is running Microsoft these days, has the bandwidth to wage a court fight to seize control of a basketball team.

  22. @sid
    The fact you’re sympathetic / siding with the Maloofs says everything anybody needs to know about your charactor (poor), or your knowledge of the situation (zilch).

    The Maloofs knew full well right from the beginng that the NBA has the final say on relocation and who a team is sold to. The Maloofs, as well as all owners, signed off on this when they became owners. They can try to sue, but they would lose in a New York minute. And don’t forget that the Maloofs owe the league $150 mil and Sac 70 mil, plus they backed out of a league endorsed and league negotiated arena deal last year, plus they’re broke, plus they did not give minority owners the right of first refusal. So the Maloofs have exactly zero leverage, and would be completely crushed by the NBA and Sac if they were foolish enough to sue.

    In fact, I rather hope they do sue, so I can enjoy the spectacle of them being humiliated into oblivion, as well as you obvious aggrevation. That would be great.

  23. Not shedding one tear for seattle because we have 3 pro franchises? how about california’s FOUR PRO BASKETBALL TEAMS?

    Seattle deserves a team after what happened to us. Not to mention we’re the loudest fans in the country. 12th man

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