The Seattle Times reports that the officials in the Emerald City have been working for eight months on a plan to build a new arena to lure an NBA and NHL team to Seattle. In the story, the Sacramento Kings are mentioned as a target.
There has been a good deal of attention on this topic over the weekend. But setting aside the Seattle issue, most of the coverage of the city's bid for a new arena is ignoring two things.
1. Sacramento is weeks away from an up-or-down vote on privatizing the operation of downtown parking facilities to aid in the funding of a new downtown entertainment and sports complex, and has been negotiating with arena megalords AEG and the NBA for months. The NBA has invested itself in this solution, and if it is approved in the next few months by Sacramento's elected officials, the league will not turn its back on the city and let the Maloofs take our team away.
2. Seattle is not the only city with a desire to take in an NBA team.
Look, if this current arena plan creeping towards the desks of the City Council fails, the Kings will almost certainly leave. Whether that be Seattle, Kansas City, Anaheim, Louisville, Vegas, Chicago, Saskatoon, London or Modesto -- it doesn't matter. The team will almost certainly be gone. It's not fair, but it's the reality right now. David Stern feels as if he has given Sacramento one last chance, and he made no secret of that last May. The Maloofs' damned press release announced they'd keep our team in Sacramento for 2011-12 even quoted one of the brothers saying that Stern had assured them that they'd receive a green light to move our team if a funding plan didn't come together by March.
That Seattle might be ready to receive a team in 2012 or 2013 is irrelevant to us. Anaheim's ready. K.C. is ready. Louisville's ready. Hell, Chicago is ready. Seattle's just another city on that list, the list of cities that wants a team and sees its best, most immediate opportunity in Sacramento. If KJ finishes the job and we get this funding plan done, our Kings are staying in Sacramento. We control our own destiny here.
When I say "we," I mean it. Let's fill up the arena on Thursday for TNT Night, stay loud and follow up at City Council on February 14.