Maybe I'm delusional. Maybe I'm looking for anything, grasping at straws, but I don't know why everyone, local and national media alike, is simply assuming the vote on the move to Anaheim is a foregone conclusion.
I understand that in the past, these votes have been overwhelmingly approved by other owners, but that assumes this move is similar in nature to Vancover, Charlotte and Seattle. Guess what? It's not. So if the situation is different, why are we assuming the end result (the vote) will be the same?
I understand the owners, as a collective group, typically vote to "yes" to a move because they all paid a ton of money for their teams, and they feel as owners, they should be able to do what is best for their own bottom line without interference, and if moving to new market is what is best for their team's financial well being (even if it completely screws a loyal fanbase), so be it.
However, this case is vastly different because unlike Vancover, Charlotte and Seattle (where teams moved into unoccupied areas), the Maloofs are looking to move into a market that is already occupied, not by just one team, but two. Thus, this vote isn't simply a vote for laissez-faire economics, allowing a struggling franchise to seek out a better deal, this vote is a decision by the owners on whether a struggling franchises' needs eclipse that of other healthier teams.
There are other factors to consider:
First, the Maloofs "need" a better deal, but is this the result of Sacramento being a bad market or the result of their own precarious financial situation? While the arena situation is certainly not good, Sacramento, as a market, has supported the team pretty well through many losing seasons. The fact the Maloofs "need" more revenue may be a result of their own business failings, not the failings of their team's market. Do the owners really want to appove a move into another teams market, hurting the other team's bottom line, because the owners of the stuggling franchise are in over their heads financially. This begs the question: Should these guys really be owners?
Second, whether we like it or not, the Los Angeles Lakers are a cornerstone franchise of the league, and Dr. Buss is part of the old guard. He has a significant amount of sway in ownership conversation, and he reportedly hates the deal. He also reportedly stands to lose a significant amount of money from his Time Warner television contract if a third team moves into his market. This, to me, is the biggest thing in our favor. If Jerry Buss stands up and says, "Do you think it is fair that I should lose $500 million because these guys are struggling financially? Would you like that if you were in my shoes?" As an owner, I would have a difficult time voting for something that doesn't seem fair even if I were in a small market.
Lastly, this vote sets a legal precedent, and the owners have understand this. If they allow the Maloofs to move their struggling small market team into the LA market, they have opened up Pandora's box because other small market teams will follow. NY, Chicago, Boston and the Bay Area have to know their markets are next, and if they try to block the move, this vote will give the struggling small market teams a legal precendent to sue for the right to move.
All of which makes me wonder why this vote is considered a foregone conclusion.