I keep thinking back to an article in the Bee from Marcos Breton titled "Maloof's Deal Looks Desperate". Whatever your opinion about Breton is, this post isn't about that either. This piece is, for me, convincing evidence that the Maloofs have checked out. Our problem (Sacramento) is that the Maloofs don't appear that they will let us live out our wildest Burkle dreams.
It's very fun but also difficult to speculate on what is taking place behind closed doors, in the minds of the Maloofs, or even with the NBA Board of Governers. After the jump, you will need to make some assumptions with me in order to follow along. Let's assume that everyone involved minus Burkle gets what they want. The NBA turns down the relocation bid, the Kings stay in Sacramento and the Maloofs are still holding the majority ownership.
This whole process has made me both sickened and excited. I even had a dream last night that I was sitting down with Kevin Johnson discussing what Sacramento can do to get an arena built here to make this all happen. When my daughter was crying in her room at 4:00am this morning and woke me up, instead of having concern for her nightmare I found myself dissapointed that my conversation with KJ was over. KJ and I were talking about whether there was a big enough minority share for Burkle to acquire from the other owners and perhaps the Maloofs to where the Maloofs would still hold the majority share but Burkle would hold enough shares to still want to help make things work out here in Sacramento. Again, this post is assuming that the Maloofs are staying. The Burkle minority ownership theory is perhaps best left for another FanPost so I'll leave it at that.
So back to Marcos Breton and his illumination of the concessions that the Maloofs are making in order to skip town.
I do not have the initiative to comb the entire Anaheim agreement and research all of the failed Sacramento arena initiatives to give a full scope of exactly how much is being conceded in comparison to what the Maloofs were trying to squeeze out of our city. I feel that Breton highlighted most of it enough to warrant our discussion.
On top of assuming additional debt to Samueli/Anaheim here is what Breton lists:
- Instead of their demands for an 8,000 space parking structure at an arena downtown and 100% of the parking revenue, the Maloofs were accepting just 50% of the parking revenue for NBA games from Samueli.
- Instead of their wanton to retain 100% of food and beverage sales for the NBA and ALL held events, by operating the whole ESC under a 30-year lease here in Sacramento, the Maloofs were accepting just 50% of the concession stands for NBA games and a 0% share of all other events.
- Instead of having all proceeds from arena naming rights here, the Maloofs will get 0% of the current deal with Honda and just 33.3% of any new naming venture obtained while in Anaheim.
- Instead of 100% ticket sales and gate, the Maloofs are conceding 8% and only receiving 92% of the gate for NBA events only. (*Note* I'm unsure if the Maloofs receive any revenue from tickets for other events held at PBP but 8% is 8%)
- Instead of renewing a TV broadcasting deal with a "very interested" Comcast worth at least a reported $11 million annually and potentially more with a new deal, the Maloofs believe that Anaheim will offer a newer, bigger, better TV deal that doesn't even exist yet in public knowledge. I believe they are basing this belief entirely on what the Lakers received for their deal.
So what's your point Nutterball? Marcos covered it already it seems.
Well, I want to know if Kevin Johnson delivers and if he has a feasible plan that will work and we break ground on new arena construction. I want to know if the Maloofs are willing to make the same or similar concessions to Sacramento in order to make things work with us like they never could before. Are they going to hardline us again now out of spite? Will they make some concessions in future revenue to help pay for this building? The Maloofs, in my opinion have shot themselves in the foot by revealing their desperation and showing truly what they have to do in order to survive. I'm sure some of the concessions were made because they might believe that moving to Anaheim is an instant upgrade in value to the franchise. Is it really though? If they moved to Anaheim and then later had to sell, would a new owner/potential buyer really be thrilled about taking over this craptastic deal that the Maloofs made?
I want Kevin Johnson to bend the Maloofs over this time around. I want him to say, "Hey Maloofs, we're gonna do everything we can to make this relationship both functional and successful and we need you to do your part by not demanding as much from the city as you have in the past.
- No, you can't have us build you a parking garage. We'll build it and we'll operate it and it's employees and we'll keep the revenue. We will give you half of the parking revenue for NBA events.
- No, you can't have 100% of everything that goes on inside of the arena. If you really want 100%, then the price of your 30-year lease just went up from $10 million per year to $12 million per year.
- Because you were willing to concede so much for the City of Anaheim, but not for us, and because you made us foot the bill entirely, WE will control the naming rights to OUR stadium and you won't receive current or future naming rights.
- You want control of shops within a mile from the complex? No way.
- We will give you the same deal as Anaheim with regards to advertising. If it's NBA, it's yours. If it's not, you get one-third.
I could go on and on, and like I said earlier. If this were a fully contrasted list of all of the differences between past deals an the new deal then I'm sure there would be more.
The bottom line is, if concessions help an arena get built and if an arena is what makes them viable again, they shouldn't have a say in the matter.
Kevin Johnson is in the drivers seat on this. We know what they were willing to give up. Don't give them the whole horse and buggy this time around and maybe, just maybe some of the naysayers will come to their senses with a new arena deal when they see that this isn't the city bending over for the Maloofs.
Get it right this time guys. Joe and Gavin, we want the team here, if you do to then you need to help us make it work.