It’s no secret that the city of Anaheim is after the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, but now it’s more or less come out and revealed its ambitions. The city recently revealed a financial plan that’s being presented to the Kings in hopes of luring them to Anaheim’s Honda Center. It included $75 million in bonds.
Tom Tait, the mayor of Anaheim, said the deal won’t cost his city’s taxpayers any money. He released a statement that said he hopes the city will soon be hosting its own NBA team in the near future. However, the ball is still in the court of Gavin and Joe Maloof, the owners of the Kings as they have until April 18 to file a relocation request with the league.
Tait has made a 103-page staff report that will be presented to the City Council regarding a potential deal and it can be found on the city of Anaheim’s website. The report mentions an unnamed potential basketball team that will play in the Honda Center, which is owned by the city, but managed by a company that’s controlled Henry Samueli, the billionaire owner of the Anaheim Ducks of the NHL.
The deal would see the Honda Center receive upgrades to the tune of $25 million, which would include a sports training area, new locker room, and practice court. There will also be $50 million set aside for transition costs, which will also include the NBA’s relocation fees. The money will be raised by private investors and according to the lease will be paid back by revenue from the arena.
It’s believed that Samueli, who’s also a big basketball fan, is supporting the move financially since he’s always wanted an NBA franchise in Anaheim. However, there are still a few procedures that must be taken care of before the Kings move to Anaheim or anywhere else. The Maloofs have to get permission still from the majority of NBA club owners and that certainly isn’t a sure bet.
They also have to pay the other two local franchises, the LA Lakers and Clippers, who are only 35 miles away at the Staples Center. Those two clubs haven’t made any public comments about a proposed move, but Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson said he didn’t think it was a great idea on March 25 before playing the Clippers. Jackson said it doesn’t make much sense to put a third team in the same metropolitan area.
The New York City area, with about 19 million people, is home to three NHL teams, but the New York Islanders are struggling at the gate. The Los Angeles area is home to about 18 million people and it’s believed the Kings would try and attract fans from areas such as San Diego and others that don’t have an NBA franchise.
The Maloofs recently registered for trademarks on four possible names for the club if it moves. It appears if it ends up in Anaheim it’ll be named the Anaheim Royals. The Royals name was previously used by the franchise back in Cincinnati and Rochester. One of the city’s rules is that all pro sports teams in Anaheim have to use the city’s name in it.