Sacto Kings To SoCal?

The city of Anaheim, Calif., and the owner of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks are making a play to bring the NBA’s Sacramento Kings to SoCal.

Members of the Anaheim city council voted unanimously March 29 to approve up to $75 million in bonds to help the team relocate to the Honda Center, according to the Sacramento Bee.

As part of the deal, the Kings would receive $50 million to help move the team and the Honda Center would receive $25 million in upgrades to become “NBA ready,” the paper said.

Orange County billionaire Henry Samueli, who owns the Ducks and the company that manages the Honda Center, would reportedly be responsible for repayment should the arena not generate enough revenue to cover bond payments.

A move by the team has seemed inevitable as the Maloof family that owns the Kings has been vocal for years about its displeasure with the aging arena in Sacramento and the city’s failure to remedy the situation.

The Kings recently said in a statement to the Bee that a proposed plan to renovate the Power Balance Pavilion (formerly Arco Arena) just wasn’t good enough.

“A representative of the Maloofs listened to their plan in depth, but they do not have the financing in place and a renovation of the existing structure is not an adequate solution,” the statement said.

But the city of Sacramento isn’t ready to cut ties with the Maloofs just yet. The team still owes $77 million to Sacto for the balance of a loan payment and officials told the Bee they plan to pursue that money.

“The mindset of the city is to make sure that they fulfill their obligation,” Mayor Kevin Johnson said. “And if they do that, then I don’t want a messy divorce, I don’t want to be a poor sport about it, it’s their decision.

“And quite frankly, if they don’t want to be here, then I’m going to be OK with [them moving] and I think our community will be OK with that.”

The Kings must file for relocation with the NBA by April 18. Approval of the deal would require a majority vote by NBA owners.