Welp City. According to WAVY-TV's Bruce Rader, Virginia Beach mayor Will Sessoms has reached a deal with Comcast-Spectacor and apparently the Maloofs to build a city-owned arena in that fair burg, with the cable company as the operator and the Kings as the primary tenant. Next Tuesday, Rader reports, Sessoms will ask the Virginia Beach City Council to approve a request to the State of Virginia for $150 million to help build the arena and finance the team's relocation. The apparent angle will be that doing the deal gives Virginia its first professional major league team since ... the ABA's Squires?
Rader says $80 million of that money will go toward relocation costs for the Kings. The Maloofs owe the city of Sacramento just less than that amount, and the standard recent relocation fees from the NBA have been $30 million. The Maloofs could also default on their loan with the city and fork over a $25 million stake of the team, per the loan agreement.
Famously, the Maloofs bristled at providing collateral for a restructured city loan in the most recent arena negotiations. The Virginia Beach deal, as proposed, would apparently let Virginian taxpayers handle that debt for George and the boys. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, for what it's worth, is rather conservative, and likely has his sight set on a U.S. Senate run. I'm honestly not sure if pushing through a deal would help or hurt his electoral chances. Reports have previously suggested that George Maloof, Sessoms and McDonnell met weeks ago to discuss a potential move. So one would think he's at least tentatively on board for Sessoms to have continued to pursue it. Comcast is, obviously, a very powerful, rich company. It's a good corporation to have on your side if you're a politician, particularly in the mid-Atlantic where it's utterly dominant.
There are lots of barriers here. The V.B. City Council still hasn't given the project a thumbs-up. A lot is being asked of the state. And we know that the Maloofs can't be trusted to hold up their end of a deal, even when they smile for the cameras and tear up and give triumphant press conferences. They cannot be trusted to follow through with anything that might cost them a dime. It's kind of gross, hoping the Maloofs do to Virginia Beach what they've done to us. But hey, it's not personal. It's business.
Thanks to SactownMike and 10KingsFan10 for the FanPosts/Shots.