Comcast-Spectacor and the Maloofs are reportedly negotiating a term sheet for a lease agreement in Virginia Beach. If that deal is done this week, Virginia Beach will move ahead with asking very nicely for some money from the state of Virginia.
Virginia Beach looks dead, and frankly, it probably is. But Virginia Beach does not believe itself to be dead, and so we must pay attention. According to Aaron Applegate of the Virginian-Pilot, Virginia Beach mayor Will Sessoms is looking for Comcast-Spectacor and the TOTALLY SECRET NBA TEAM that is absolutely the Sacramento Kings to reach a lease term sheet this week so that Sessoms and the Virginia Beach City Council can next week beg the Virginia state legislature for tons of money to build their arena.
The city is looking for $150 million of state money. They'd already asked; the governor told them to come back when they actually had a plan. Ergo, the devising of a plan. By all accounts, the Maloofs are basically looking for a free deal: a place where they can make money off of their basketball team without having to actually put anything up. A huge portion of the $150 million Virginia Beach will request from the state is earmarked to help the Maloofs finance relocation, including the league's assumed fee and the lower revenues expected for two seasons as the Kings play in tiny gyms in Virginia as the new arena is built.
We know the Maloofs, and in particular George Maloof, pretty well. And history tells us that even a deal for a free arena is not going to be enough. There is no detail small enough for Maloof to overlook in his quest for every dime of plausible revenue. Remember: this is the man who balked at providing collateral on a $70 million loan and didn't feel he should have to sign a long-term lease at an arena built using primarily public funds specifically for his act.
Plus, word is the league believes this all to be a massive waste of time as the Board of Governors has no intention of leaving Sacramento and Seattle without teams while a town with no demand for or history with the NBA gets one.
Thanks to Sactown Mike for the FanShot. And HEY EVERYONE, isn't the new FanPost/FanShot set-up lovely?