I have been a regular follower of StR for the past couple years now (so regular that my wife wants to take my laptop away and my daughter always wants to know what I am laughing out loud at – it’s usually the weekly GBU caption contest). Although I have never contributed, my visits to this site are a consistently enjoyable part of my day.
Anyways, there are 4 statements that got me thinking: One is frequently stated: The general public of Sacramento will not support financing a new arena. One I heard a while ago: The Green Bay Packers would never leave Green Bay because they are publicly owned. The third was a recent statement in an article somewhere: The Maloofs are asking local OC businessmen if they want to buy in to take small stakes in the Kings ownership. And then from this morning, from TZ:
We can't offer millions of investment dollars (right?)
So this question is for those of you out there who know anything about the financial world:
Would it be possible to set up some sort of limited partnership where private individuals (mostly Kings fans but maybe also sports fans in general) could purchase “shares” in the Kings and/or the new arena in order to help finance keeping them in Sacramento?
If enough money could be raised, it could at least lessen the amount that the City would have to kick in, maybe even let the general public off the hook entirely? Maybe the general public would be more willing to provide limited financing if they knew that the bulk of the “public” money was being put up by private individuals with more of a vested interest (doesn’t everyone love the concept of user fees to fund activities?).
Or maybe enough could be raised to retire the loan to the City.
Do you think 10,000 Kings fans around the city and elsewhere could be enticed to put in $5,000 each to raise $50,000,000? (Many season ticket holders now spend several thousands of dollars on season tickets already). How about 25,000 people each purchasing units for $2,000?
Maybe Jerry Buss and Donald Sterling would kick in $1,000,000 each, for seed money, just to keep the Kings away!
Could it be structured to represent a specified (low) percentage of total ownership, low enough that the Maloofs would not feel threatened of losing control of the team, as could happen with a public stock offering? Maybe “non-voting” shares?
Unlike publicly traded stock, there would be no ongoing market for the shares, so what value or return would one get for the investment? How would one ever get their money back?
Maybe it could be a time-decay Money-paid-back-if-they-move-or-are-sold process: For each year that the Kings stay in Sacramento, 5% of the “investment” is forgiven, until at 20 years the LP shares are “worthless” (other than having helped keep the Kings in town for those 20 years).
Maybe a key perq for LP owners would be early notifications and dibs on all concerts in the new arena, one seat for each $1,000 invested.
Obviously I am throwing these ideas out off the top of my head; I have no idea (a) if such a partnership could be legally set up, (b) whether it would theoretically or philosophically work, (c) whether the Maloofs would give it even a parting glance, (d) how much it would cost just to set such a thing up, (e) if the NBA would allow it, and of course (e) whether anyone (and how many) would want to pony up their hard-earned money in such an effort.
And, of course, it may be too late already even if it would work. But what if the Haight - Van Dusen plan does buy some time to work something out? Could something like this be a part of the solution?
I am wondering, Would it be worth it for some, or many, just to be able to say “I spent $2,000 (or whatever) and am now a proud minority owner of the NBA Kings franchise! AND we helped keep them in Sacramento!”
Okay, there’s the balloon - - - let the arrows fly!