Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

At-Risk Sports Teams: Sacramento Kings


Rochester Royals, anybody?

There's chatter about a new arena for the Sacramento Kings, as part of a broader effort to keep the team in California's capital.

A new arena and exhibit hall at Cal Expo could open by 2013 with a mall and offices -- even housing to be built over 25 years. But there won't be requests for proposals on the $1.9 billion project this year, thanks to the sour economy.

The Kings are facing dwindling attendance, and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson -- a former all-star point guard for the Phoenix Suns -- had an easier time eluding 7-foot-tall opponents than he's having raising money for the project.

Without a new arena, the Kings, currently one of the weakest teams in the NBA, could be lured away by a lucrative offer from another city -- especially one in a larger TV market. Speculation centers on San Jose, and Anaheim -- home to Disneyland, MLB's Angels, and the NHL's Ducks.

According to press reports, the Kings may have lost $25 million this year. But that's just a few drops of the red ink the National Basketball Association is facing as a whole. The league expects revenue to tumble again in the 2009-2010 season.

Once a perennial contender, the Kings finished last in the Western Conference with a 17-and-65 win-loss record, and a full 48 games behind the champion Los Angeles Lakers. That dismal performance -- the worst in the NBA -- knocked average game attendance down to about 12,000, and eroded the team's small TV market.

Before the team slumped on the court and the economy went south, the Kings claimed one of the NBA's most loyal and passionate fan bases. Sellouts were common. Some said the capital city's large number of state workers made the team all but recession-proof. But the foreclosure crisis and the state budget mess spiked that myth.

Team co-owner Joe Maloof has stressed his family's commitment to Sacramento and underscored the need for a new arena.

"We've been approached constantly since we bought the team and we're still here," he told the Sacramento Bee. "We know where we're at -- we're at rock bottom -- and we've got to turn everything around. And we will. Let's see what Cal Expo comes up with. But we'll look at anything."

The Kings are a nomadic team, playing as the Rochester (New York) Royals from 1948-'57 and as the Cincinnati Royals from 1957-'72. They then became the Kansas City-Omaha Kings before calling Kansas City their exclusive home in 1975. The team arrived in Sacramento in 1985. Now, there's even some talk -- mostly in the Midwest -- that the Kings could be persuaded to return to Kansas City.

Earlier this year, Commissioner David Stern assured reporters that the NBA "[has] no teams that are in trouble."

Then again, no one asked him to define "trouble."

Fans appear to be generally optimistic -- and occasionally Pollyanna-ish --in their view of the game's economics. On a blog devoted to the NBA, one fan responded to the team's estimated loss by saying: "$25 million? That's nothing."

Easy to say when it isn't your checkbook.

Another fan suggested the Kings move back to the future: "Rochester Royals, anybody?"

Click Here For Next Article Click Here For More
< Previous
  • 1
Next >
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Videos