According to a recent story by the Los Angeles Times, entertainment giant AEG is being put up for sale by The Anschutz Co. The sale is expected to be worth upwards of a billion dollars.
AEG was a huge part of Sacramento's last arena plan. They had signed on to be the main operator of the venue and were slated to provide a sizeable portion of the cost. So what does this sale mean for the city of Sacramento and a potential new arena?
In short, nothing.
At the moment, there is no Sacramento Arena plan. The Maloofs saw to that when they withdrew their support in April and have refused to come back to the table. No negotiations between the city, Maloofs or AEG have taken place since then. No further negotiations are likely as long as the Maloofs remain owners of the Sacramento Kings.
But what if something did happen that would make the prospect of a new arena in Sacramento feasible again? What if the Maloofs sell to a local buyer, or even change their minds when they realize how expensive it will be to move? What if the team moves and the city is then free to build a new arena without violating the no-competition clause with the Maloofs? Well, then AEG's sale may have an impact, but it's unknown how much. Mayor Kevin Johnson has a good business relationship with AEG's President and CEO Tim Leiweke, and Leiweke is likely to remain in charge under new ownership.
But AEG has stated in the past that they need a tenant in place to fund a new Sacramento arena. With the Kings currently out of the picture and said no-competition clause in place, the city is left up a creek without a paddle. If the team moves, the city would still need to find a new tenant, a long and lengthy process.
Sacramento's best hope for a new arena was dismembered, killed and burnt to little pieces by George Maloof and his red pen five months ago. I am hard-pressed to see a scenario where the city of Sacramento ever goes back to the negotiating table with the Maloofs again, unless the Maloofs are willing to make concessions that they have not been able to make for the last 10 years.
The city of Sacramento is being held hostage by the Maloofs. We know it, the city knows it, and the NBA knows it.