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Virginia lawmakers raise eyebrows at proposed Kings arena request

A Virginia newspaper reports that some lawmakers are skeptical of the purported deal to build an arena for the Kings in Virginia Beach.


We began to see the details of Virginia Beach's proposal to build a new arena and lure the Sacramento Kings to the East Coast late Tuesday and early Wednesday. On Wednesday, Virginia lawmakers -- who are being asked to pony up $150 million of the costs, including $80 million to finance the Kings' relocation -- reacted. Aaron Applegate of the Virginian-Pilot finds that some were understandably skeptical.

"My initial response is, I'm not in favor of it," said Del. Chris Jones of Suffolk, also an appropriations committee member. "In tight economic times, taking away from other core functions of government, I'm not sure it's the right thing to do."

We also began to see on Wednesday what exactly all of that $80 million in relocation costs would be earmarked for. Applegate reports that $30 million is for the assumed NBA relocation fee, $8 million is for corporate moving costs (someone's gotta haul Geoff Petrie's stool!) and $42 million is to make up the lost revenue the Kings would experience in the two seasons in a tiny arena while the Virginia Beach facility was being built.

Note that the Maloofs' outstanding debt to the city of Sacramento is not considered. City staff will light boxes of flares on fire and sprinkle them liberally if the Maloofs attempt to default on their loan by giving the city Sleep Train Arena.

The Virginia Beach City Council apparently won't vote on a deal until January or so. The Virginia General Assembly is expected to decide on the $150 million request in January or February. One lawmaker quoted in the Virginian-Pilot piece said he'd carry legislation to draw up a sales tax to fund the contribution.

And of course, the Maloofs still are not talking.

Thanks to Fippin for the FanShot.