Unless you're in one of the very biggest markets in North America, there is one simple step a city needs to take to keep its NBA team historically: make a substantial contribution to a modern arena.
The City of Sacramento agreed to do that in 2012. Did it serve to gain a commitment for the Kings to stay in Sacramento long-term? Nope.
So after another lost year with at least two additional explorations of sweetheart relocation deals outside Sacramento (Virginia Beach and Vegas), the Maloofs agreed to sell the Kings.
The City of Sacramento agreed to meet the base retention requirement: it reiterated its commitment to make a substantial contribution to a modern arena (more than 50 percent of its costs). In addition, a group of investors agreed to match the historic offer for majority control of the franchise. As of Friday, this included paying the Seattle bidder, Chris Hansen, $30 million to make him whole after he made the unprecedented move of offering the Maloofs a $30 million non-refundable deposit.
So Sacramento has committed a substantial public contribution to an arena, matched a record-setting purchase price and agreed to make sure the outside bidder doesn't lose his non-refundable deposit. And now, because that outside bidder has announced to the world he plans to up his bid, we're being told all of that may still not have been enough.
This is pretty f--king ridiculous.
No other city has ever had to deal with this in any way. This is a damn circus. I know our friends in Seattle feel the same way -- Oklahoma City didn't have to do what Seattle is currently doing. (Although, of course, Oklahoma City already had an arena built when it ganked the Sonics.) Expand the damn league. Give Seattle a new team. Keep the Kings in Sacramento. Both buildings will get built quickly. The rivalry will be fantastic. There is no reasonable argument against expansion. This is an unprecedented situation, right? Let it end on a good note, for Pete Chilcutt's sake.
Sacramento did enough by the standards of modern pro sports to keep the Kings in 2012 and is doing even more in 2013. Seattle has done enough by the standards of modern pro sports to get a team. Will the Board of Governors please acknowledge that and end this madness? Expand to 31.