Word is that what is happening to the Kings is unprecedented. Never before has a league been presented with two viable markets and two viable ownership groups fighting over the same team. While that may be true, I came across an article tonight that changed my view on that. It may be good news for Sac fans. And it, ironically, still has to do with Seattle.
The story goes like this. In '96, Seahawks owner Ken Behring decided it was time to move to LA, a much more attractive market (at face value) closer to his home. The Seahawks were losing, his arena was crumbling (literally), and talks with the city were not going well to get it renovated or replaced (see a trend here?). Without the approval of the league, he packed the trucks and moved operations to LA, intending to play games there. The league intervened and he sold the team to Paul Allen (who managed to arrange a stadium deal) of Microsoft soon after.
I see this story as shockingly similar to the Kings story now. While there was no sale, a move to LA would have made sense for all the reasons proposed by Hansen, the Seattle media, and others. The league would theoretically benefit financially. It would have been considered Behring's right to move, the same way it would be Hansen/Maloofs right to move. But the NFL stopped the move when a local ownership group and arena came into play.
Beyond the obvious narrative similarities, I find that Seattle's subsidy and public/private partnership issues far more disturbing and deep-rooted then I first thought.