Maloof Reaffirms Commitment to Sacramento, Say Kings Could Break Even This Year

There's lots of great material from Ailene Voisin's Sacramento Bee column on L'Affair San Jose. She talks to Gavin Maloof, who makes some more emphatic commitments to the Sacramento market. The most important note to me is the revelation that the Kings "are operating in the black and are projected to break even throughout the season, the result of reducing operational costs and more prudent salary cap management."

In other words:

LAYOFFS + PAUL WESTPHAL - EDDIE JORDAN - BRAD MILLER - PRESEASON TV - HOUSE PARTY LIVE = PROFIT

There was one other note which particularly piqued my interest: that Gavin Maloof is "dictating the new ticket packaging and marketing plans, and in general, pressing hard for the organization to reconnect with the community."

It's noteworthy for two reasons. First, it's good to see Maloof that engaged on the business side. But more ... that's John Thomas's job. Thomas had a rough start in Sacramento after being hired by the Maloofs as the team president at the behest of David Stern. There was a lot of drama during his first years, between Thomas and employees, Thomas and corporate sponsors, Thomas and community partners. His name is not particularly well-liked around certain segments of Sacramento, unfortunate as that may be.

Also, according to a prior Voisin column, we know that Thomas opposed ticket price decreases for this season.

Gavin Maloof said that some of the more expensive seats will be reduced by as much as $1,500 for the season. Additionally, the Kings will retain 1,000 of the $10 seats while adding $25.50 tickets for the corner sections of the upper level. [...]

The seismic shift occurred last Thursday during a five-hour discussion inside the coffee shop at the Palms. Some members of the organization's business department, including team president John Thomas, were concerned about making such drastic cuts because the Kings – with a small corporate base – rely so heavily on revenue generated by season-ticket sales.

And now, of course, we know that it was Thomas who secretly toured the HP Pavilion at the franchise's most vulnerable point, and then do-se-do'd around the local media when asked about it. It can be argued that though obviously the basketball side has struggled to move forward after th Glory Era ended, the business side has seen the same struggles. It seems like the Maloofs recognize that, and they are doing something about it. That's a win for fans.

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