By Dennis Berry
Last week a report came out that the Kings were in talks with Virginia Beach to move the team there. After the report came out the Kings owners, the Maloof family, came out and denied that report.
The Kings have not been able to work out a deal to stay in Sacramento. At one time it appeared that the city and the Kings had worked out a deal on a new arena to keep them in Sacramento. The Maloofs backed out of that deal in April.
The Maloofs have been looking to get out of Sacramento for some time. The Maloof’s have long wanted to have a new arena. It appeared that a deal was in place for a new arena to be built, but the Maloof’s backed out, instead saying that Sacramento should pay to renovate the arena.
It is just another crazy turn with the Kings being in Sacramento.
Then last week the story leaked that the Maloofs were in talks to move the team to Virginia Beach. Is this really the best town for the Kings to relocate? They are fairly close to Washington DC, which has the Wizards. It is not a top 100 TV market either.
Is this really the best city to move to?
What are the best cities for the Kings to relocate if they choose to? Here are some other choices for the Maloofs to consider.
Seattle, WA – If the Kings move, this should be the number one destination of the Kings. The fans in Seattle would love to have a NBA franchise back in town. The NBA would like to be back in Seattle, as it is the highest TV market without a NBA franchise.
The only problem is that moving to the Northwest would involve getting a new arena. The city would not build one for the Sonics. Would they for a new team?
Anaheim, CA – This seems to be the city that the Maloofs want to move to the most. There is a lot to like about Anaheim. It is in Orange County, which has over 3 million people and over 300,000 in Anaheim. The Kings could move into the Honda Center right away.
The biggest draw backs would be that there are two NBA teams down the road in Los Angeles. Even the Clippers have a hard time filling the Staples Center. Add that to the fact that the Honda Center is almost twenty years old. How long would it be before the Maloofs would want a new arena?
Louisville, KY – If the Maloofs want to go to a basketball crazy state, they could not do any better than Kentucky. People in Kentucky love their basketball. If you could get a team with former UK (DeMarcus Cousins) or UofL (Francisco Garcia), fans would come out. They also have a new downtown arena that is two years old and needs to find ways to bring in new revenue.
The problem with Louisville is that it is a small market; the 50th overall. Another problem is that Kentucky is a college sports state; there are no other pro teams. The last pro team was the Kentucky Colonels in the ABA. They lasted only nine years.
Las Vegas, NV – At some point there will be a professional sports team in Las Vegas. So why not be the first? The Maloofs are no strangers to Vegas either. There is no doubt that Vegas would welcome the Kings and give the Maloofs a brand new state of the art arena.
The main problem is that sports betting is legal in Nevada. The NBA would like to stay away from any betting scandals that could pop up. Another problem is that with so many choices in Vegas entertainment, how good will attendance be?
Pittsburgh, PA – When it comes to cities that love professional sports teams, Pittsburgh jumps out. Fans there have embraced the Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The only thing missing is the NBA. The Kings could move into the Consol Energy Center, which is only four years old.
Pittsburgh faces the same problem as Louisville; it is a small to medium market city. Would the fans in Pittsburgh welcome another pro sports team? Plus the Kings would have to change their colors to Black and Yellow to match the other teams.
Hopefully the Maloofs will keep the Kings in Sacramento. The fans in Sacramento were great when the Kings were on their roll in the early 2000’s. Arco Arena was one of the loudest arenas in the NBA during that time.