Excerpted from Thursday's Contra Costa Times.
Let's face it, sports franchises are like most other multimillion-dollar businesses, they will go where they get the best, most lucrative deal. Despite having a loyal East Bay fan base, the Golden State Warriors want to move to San Francisco partially because they can get a fancy arena out of the deal. The ownership of baseball's Oakland A's would like to move from Oakland to San Jose because they would get a new stadium and many more lucrative development opportunities. But the San Francisco Giants oppose the move because Oakland's gain would be their loss as it infringes upon their franchise rights.
Now, the Sacramento Kings once again are talking of moving. The Maloof family, which has controlling ownership in the Kings, has formally applied to the league for permission to move the team to Seattle as part of a proposed ownership change. Many leaders in Sacramento are apoplectic, which we understand. But they should not be surprised. It was only slightly more than a year ago that Sacramento fended off a planned move of the franchise to Anaheim. At that time Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, himself a former star in the NBA, put together a consortium of leaders who coughed up enough money to keep the Kings in the state capital.
But it is a very small market and there has been little progress in securing the Kings a new arena in Sacramento. The Seattle group has plans to build such an arena in the city's downtown near the city's current MLB and NFL stadiums. That group, which has a strong financial base, also has jumped into the bidding for the National Hockey League Phoenix Coyotes, which could share the new arena with the Kings.
Johnson is, once again, trying to mobilize support to keep the Kings in Sacramento.
The Seattle group reportedly has offered a record $525 million for the team. That is some serious cash. And, like we said, sports franchises tend to go where they get the best deal.