Sacramento is considered the gateway to California's gold country, and while the city's resident NBA franchise has not struck gold on the court, it certainly has at the box office. Despite no winning seasons since moving from Kansas City in 1985, the Kings have sold out Sleep Train Arena (formerly ARCO Arena and Power Balance Pavilion) for every game since it opened in 1988, the third-longest sellout streak in the league, behind Portland's and Boston's. This success is not surprising, considering the Kings are the only game in town in one of the NBA's smallest markets.
Even when the Kings are not tearing down the hoops, Sleep Train Arena does its best to please. The arena is a large, tan rectangle sitting alone amid 105 acres of largely undeveloped land. Inside, it's another story. As fans enter, they are greeted by countless television monitors showing the Kings' in-house pre-game show - unique in the NBA. Once the game starts, the crowd takes over. ARCO has a reputation among players for being one of the loudest arenas in the league, a prime reason being wood floors in the stands so fans can stomp their feet.
Tickets have always been hard to come by, and now that the Kings have made the playoffs, they're worth much more than their weight in gold.
Source: Fodor's Four Sport Stadium Guide
July 8, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures
The Sacramento Kings will build an $8 million practice facility next to Power Balance Pavilion that will also serve the WNBA Monarchs. The venue will open next year and will be used for team and community activities.
SACRAMENTO BLOCKS KINGS' PLAN TO BUILD PRACTICE VENUE
October 14, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures
The City of Sacramento is blocking the Sacramento Kings from building an $8 million privately-financed practice facility adjacent to ARCO Arena as leverage to get the team
to renegotiate a land agreement.
While the team owns the arena and most of the parking lot, the city owns 100 acres around it and a portion of the parking lot. An agreement between the team and city
says neither side can make major changes to the parking lot without the other's approval. The city wants to build on its land. The Kings say they won't discuss rewriting the
agreement until they know what the city wants to do.
The city has been talking with former Kings owner Gregg Lukenbill and local attorney Dick Hyde about building a sports stadium on the land. The new venue, designed for
a possible Triple-A team, could provide competition for West Sacramento which has plans to build a new ballpark for the Vancouver Canadians. That team hopes to begin play
in a new California home in 2000. Sacramento's decision to approve the development drew criticism from West Sacramento officials, saying it does not show good
cooperation and makes it more difficult to find sponsors and luxury suite patrons.
The Sacramento vote decision gives Lukenbill development rights and the city must still approve a final agreement. It could decide not to proceed if the West Sacramento
ballpark begins construction. Lukenbill's group says it can make money with a stadium even if it does not field a minor league team. West Sacramento officials say they are
counting on some non-baseball events to make their stadium profitable.
CITY APPROVES LAND FOR SACRAMENTO KINGS PRACTICE ARENA
October 21, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures
The City of Sacramento has signed off on plans for the Kings to build a new $8 million, privately funded practice facility adjacent to ARCO Arena. The venue should be complete before next
The city had balked at agreeing to disruption of a parking lots jointly controlled by the Kings and the city. The team needed the city's permission to block use of a portion the lot temporarily while construction was in progress. While the city had no problems with training center, they wanted the team's permission for disruption of the lot for possible construction on city-owned land nearby. The team had withheld permission until it knew the details of what the city had in mind.
The city has been talking with former Kings owner Gregg Lukenbill and local attorney Dick Hyde about building a sports stadium on the land.
THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell
January 16, 2000 & February 4, 2004 - Arco Arena, home to the NBA Sacramento Kings is really the only game in town when it comes to the major sports. Yes the WNBA Sacramento Monarchs also call Arco home and Sacramento has a AAA baseball team, but the Kings are true kings around here. Since this building opened in 1988, the arena has sold out most of the Kings games, and the fans have been rewarded with one a team that has enjoyed great success in the very tough
Western Conference. The franchise relocated here in 1985 from Kansas City, but during
this time the ultimate prize, a world championship, has proved to be elusive.
|ARCO Arena Ranking by USRT|
|Fan Support|| 10|
|Concourses/Fan Comfort|| 4|
|Bonus: Noise Meter|| 1|
|Bonus: 4 City Banners|| 2|
|Total Score|| 58|
Getting to the Venue
The area north of Sacramento has exploded in recent years in terms of growth - new
subdivisions, condominiums, office parks, and in the middle of all this sits Arco Arena.
Access is off of I-5, with two exits serving the arena, and to get there you drive roughly 10
miles from downtown and the state capital. An elaborate system of ring arounds around the complex is designed to get patrons in and out pretty easily, although things can get snarled up here while trying to get everyone back onto I-5 after the game! Parking costs $8, and because the complex sits on a vast tract of open land, there are no parking alternatives so plan on ponying up the parking fee.
Outside the Venue
Other than the fact that there are no neighborhoods adjacent (i.e. walking distance) to the
arena, the first thing that hits you is how nicely the grounds here are landscaped and
manicured. The ring roads and parking islands are all tree lined, and this adds a lot to the
ambience of the building. The arena is mostly tan brick with some glass accents, and
entrances are located on three sides. The building has more of a feel of an office building
in an office park rather than a dramatic looking sports venue. There really is no main or
grand entrance to the building. Ticket and will call windows can be found in a small lobby
on the south side, but one has to go back outside to get into the arena proper.
The Bowl and Concourses
This is a single concourse building, meaning 100 level seats you walk down and 200 level
balcony seats you take stairs up. The corridors here are tastefully done in team colors
purple and white, and the decor is evident in directional signage and concession canopies
as well. With the typical sellout crowds, these concourses get quite congested, plus there
are a bunch of point of sale kiosks scattered everywhere. In a couple of locations one can
find large videoboards showing the action inside.
The arena bowl is configured for basketball, and very intimate for a building this size. The
bowl is octagon shaped, and the floors in the seating area are made of hardwood... yes,
hardwood! This lends to a noisy and electric foot stomping atmosphere and the Kings fans
are glad to oblige. The center scoreboard has a built in noisemeter which is displayed in
each of its four sides and that thing is always jumping. Arco has the reputation of being one
of the noisiest arenas in the NBA.
Pretty diverse menu selection here at Arco and leading the pack is the garlic fries! Easily
the food with the strongest scent in the four major sports. El Pinto's Mexican food stand,
and a carving station offering turkey and smoked tri-tip sandwiches, with a caesar salad or
pasta side were two stands sporting huge lines. And there is an orange juice and lemonade
stand offering the fresh squeezed stuff! There is a main team store off of the main
concourse, and several smaller souvenir stands in the corridors.
A ring of suites is located around the top of the lower level, and there are also "box suites" in the first two rows of the upper deck, separated by a wall from the rest of the upper level
Several banners of many great players of the Royals/Kings franchise hang from the rafters
here at Arco....Rochester's Bob Davies and Maurice Stokes, Cincinnati's Jack Twyman and
Oscar Robertson along with KC's Tiny Archibald and Sacramemto's Mitch Richmond and
"The Sixth Man". At another baseline are banners for Sacramento's two recent Pacific
Division titles. Looking for that 1951 NBA title banner???? Rumor has it that it's in some
storeroom in Rochester's Blue Cross Arena.....trust us folks that's not a joke!
Slam Dunks, Assists, Fouls...
Assist - If you are visiting Sacramento the coolest place to go see is Old Sacramento, right
on the fringes of downtown. There are a lot of old historic buildings, lots of shopping and
places to eat, and the area resembles an old town from the wild west like you would see on
the old western shows. Even some hitching posts for your horse! (Police were riding on
horseback - photo opps a plenty!)
Slam Dunk - High above the arena is a facility called the Skyline Restaurant, and here one
can find a pre game buffet, open bar during the game, and the Kings post game show
broadcast from this location with fans invited to stick around. Best of all, this nice amenity
is open to all ticketholders.
Slam Dunk - The arena's four sided scoreboard has an actual noise meter built into each
corner. None of those artificial "c'mon fans make some noise" graphics needed here!
Slam Dunk - of course, our karma strikes again in our return visit as the Kings knock off the Sonics by a 117-101 count. The Kings do rather well here on their turf, but let's not kid
ourselves here...it was our presence that brought the win for the Kings on this evening.
This is one of the best basketball experiences in the NBA, and here's why. Win or lose, the
Kings have been SRO since they moved here in the 80's. The fans love their Kings, and
since this is the only major team in town, is a real source of civic and community pride(The
Green Bay of the NBA perhaps?!). The noise and electricity in the building almost has the feel of a college venue. Next, the building is intimately configured for basketball - an octagon shaped seating bowl, and excellent seating angles from anywhere in the arena. What would add so much to this venue is if it were located downtown. But this is the state capital, and we can only assume
that the downtown core is dedicated for government purposes and would not be suitable
for sports venues of this kind (not to be outdone, the AAA baseball Sacramento Rivercats
have opened themselves a wonderful ballpark in the most wretched part of town, but we
digress). We like Sacramento, if only because it is a bit off the sports road tripping beaten
path. And having a winning team in a very competitive Western Conference sure adds to
December 17, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
The Sacramento Kings are using cheap beer as a way of bringing fans into Arco Arena. The move was made to coincide with a nationally-televised game. At the Kings game, fans purchased 12-ounce domestic draft brews for $1 through halftime, and could buy two at a time, team officials said. Water and sodas were also sold for a buck.
December 24, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
Levy Restaurants will take over concession operations in January at Arco Arena in Sacramento, Calif. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
STATE HAS RESERVATIONS ABOUT TAKING OVER ARCO
April 29, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
Sacramento, Calif. - California officials are wondering if Arco Arena could meet the needs of
the state fair if a new arena is built in downtown Sacramento.
The plan being discussed would move the Kings and other Arco events into the new building.
The state would then take over the arena as a new home to the state fair.
"At the end of the day, are we getting a state-of-the-art 21st-century exposition hall, or are we
trying to put a square peg in a round hole?" Cal Expo's Brian May asked.
Developer Gerry Kamilos is requesting that state officials join the discussion about the project,
as the fair's participation is critical for the deal to work. The Kamilos plan calls for the state to move the fair to Arco and sell Cal Expo for private development to generate arena construction funds.
The Kings say Arco is cramped and lacks the amenities needed to compete in the NBA. Yet state officials are being asked to see the building and its sometimes leaky roof as a modern centerpiece hall for a new State Fair.
"It's got good bones," said architect William Crockett, a principal at Ellerbe Becket in San Francisco and a consultant with the Kamilos group. "I could see this building in use for many decades to come."
"Arco was a fun and unique arena for two decades," Mayor Kevin Johnson said. "But there comes a time when a community needs to upgrade, and Sacramento has clearly reached that point."
The same goes for the State Fair. Cal Expo officials have wanted a major upgrade for years, including a new air-conditioned expo hall. They just haven't had the money.
They say they are intrigued with the arena-swap plan, which supposedly will generate enough money to pay for a new fairgrounds. But an early assessment suggests Arco Arena is even less suitable for them than for the Kings - unless they do a major remodeling.
"At first blush, it is going to be challenging to do that, but we reserve judgment until we hear back from experts," May said.
The seats would have to be torn out and a deck built to create two levels for events and exhibits.
That only brings up more questions, May said. How do you get the trucks up to load and unload events on the second story? Can the facility be configured to handle two or three separate events at the same time?
Even with two exhibit levels, floor space would be only 100,000 square feet. Cal Expo officials say they need 300,000 square feet. That means a second exhibit hall would have to be built. Another option: tearing down Arco and replacing it altogether.
Another big question, Cal Expo officials said, is whether Arco's 185-acre site is even big enough for the State Fair. Cal Expo is an expansive 350 acres, including the horse racing track and considerable surface parking.
If the fair moves to Arco, there probably won't be enough space for the horse track, Cal Expo officials said. So, if the state does negotiate with the Kamilos group, it will insist any deal include either a new racetrack at another site, or compensation for $2 million in annual revenue officials say the state currently earns from racing.
Meanwhile, the city has agreed to enter into an exclusive negotiating agreement with Kamilos and David Taylor for an arena at the downtown railyard.
Kamilos has said he wants to push the effort forward quickly in hopes of having an arena built by 2014.
Under its agreement with the city, the development team will contribute $170,000 to pay for consultants to evaluate the proposal. If the city backs out of the agreement without cause - for example, to work on another arena proposal - it would have to repay the development team up to
July 22, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
For more than a decade, BP has operated a hush-hush phone line that California lawmakers can call to request box seats to NBA games and concerts at Arco Arena, according to Mother Jones magazine. In the past five years, BP has given state officials more than 1,200 complimentary tickets to the Arco Arena, hosting them in its corporate suite to see Sacramento Kings games, World Extreme Cagefighting matches, and Britney Spears and Lil Wayne concerts, it was reported. Getting the tickets is as easy as calling the BP ticket request line, an exclusive, unpublished phone number that appears to exist for the sole purpose of granting freebies to lawmakers, regulators, and their staffs, the magazine reported. BP has given away roughly $300,000 worth of tickets over the past 10 years, handing them out to everyone from assembly clerks to top lawmakers, Mother Jones said.
NEW TREASURER QUESTIONS KINGS LOAN
September 9, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
Sacramento, Calif. - New Sacramento treasurer Russ Fehr has questioned changes made in a
$73 million loan agreement between the city and the Kings and will ask the City Council to formally approved the deal, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Seven years ago, then treasurer Tom Friery agreed to the Kings' request that the city's loan be put second in line for repayment - behind a new line of credit of up to $75 million the NBA was offering each of its teams. Fehr believes such a move requires council approval.
The newspaper asked: Did the change in terms increase the risk that the city's controversial loan to the Kings, made in 1997, will go unpaid? Fehr told the Bee it means only marginally increased risk. Sacramento's collateral still includes Arco Arena and its 80 surrounding acres, as well as a $25 million stake in the team.
As a result of the treasurer's loan change in 2003, however, the city's $25 million stake now comes second to any claim the NBA may make on the team from unpaid loans.
The big unknown is how much the Maloofs, owners of the Kings, have borrowed from banks using the NBA's line of credit. The newspaper reported that team officials declined to say.
Fehr said his analysis of the Kings' books indicates the terms of the loan still offer the city enough collateral should the team be sold or move, or should there be any hiccup in loan repayments. The Kings have paid down the loan to $68 million, and they have never missed any payments, Fehr said.
Declining real estate values have eroded the value of a key piece of city collateral, the newspaper said.
The arena and the immediate acreage around it are valued by the county assessor at $47.4 million. According to county documents reviewed by the Bee, the Kings have requested that the official value of Arco Arena and surrounding land be reduced to $23.7 million.
Former treasurer Friery told the Bee he considered the loan changes he approved in 2003 relatively minor, something he could handle without needing to check with the council.
He also said he felt the change put the city in a slightly better position on the loan. It increased the city's stake in the team from $20 million to $25 million.
"I really thought it was perfunctory to do that," Friery, who retired from the city in 2007, told the newspaper. "It wasn't something to pull the wool over the city's eyes or be disrespectful to the council. You don't bring everything you do to the council. I really thought it would be an administrative change."
His replacement, Fehr, said he began reviewing the Kings loan documents when he took office and discovered the changes earlier this year. He brought them to the city attorney, who he said told him that the council should have made the call.
ARCO NAME COMING OFF SACRAMENTO ARENA
September 23, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
Sacramento, Calif. - One of the longest-running naming rights deals in the industry is coming
to an end. The Sacramento Kings' deal with Arco for naming rights to the team's arena will expire in February and the building will take on a new name after the NBA season ends, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Kings officials declined to discuss their prospects for landing a new sponsor with the newspaper, but said they see the Arco deal's end as an opportunity.
"We are deeply appreciative of the historic 24-year run we enjoyed with our friends at Arco," Kings co-owners Joe and Gavin Maloof said in a news release. "This was one of the original, pioneering naming-rights partnerships in major league sports and entertainment.
“Now there is an incredible opportunity for a new brand to integrate across all Maloof Sports & Entertainment platforms."
The Kings' groundbreaking mid-1980s agreement to put Arco's name atop their arena created a steady source of income over 24 years, estimated by several Bee sources at between $700,000 and $750,000 a year.
POWER BALANCE TO REPLACE ARCO NAME IN SACRAMENTO
January 13, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
Sacramento, Calif. - The Sacramento Bee says the Kings' arena will be renamed Power Balance
Pavilion after the company that makes the trendy but controversial Power Balance sports wristbands.
Power Balance LLC of Laguna Niguel has agreed to a five-year deal with the Maloof family, which owns the Kings and the arena. The name change will occur March 1, the Kings and Power Balance said in a joint statement.
On another front, KFBK radio says that the Maloofs have met with officials in Anaheim about possibly moving the franchise into the Honda Center. The team has reportedly received an offer by NHL Ducks owner Henry Samueli to provide $100 million to the Kings to fund debt and other expenses. The Maloofs have said they want to remain in Sacramento.
The Maloofs had been searching for months for a naming rights sponsor to replace Arco, which is ending its 25-year relationship with the organization.
Kings officials wouldn't discuss details of the deal with Power Balance, but the Bee said team co-owner Joe Maloof called it "a big win for the franchise, a positive development all around. Everybody was telling us we could never get it done."
Team officials described the relationship with Power Balance as a strategic marketing partnership that includes the arena name rights, retail incentive programs and programs involving other Maloof properties and events, including in Las Vegas where the Maloofs own the Palms Casino Resort.
Troy Rodarmel, CEO and co-founder of Power Balance described his company as a "young and hungry brand," and called the deal with the Kings "a true strategic partnership that includes a revenue-share component based on the success of the program."
The Bee said Arco has been paying about $750,000 a year for the building's naming rights.
The newspaper observed that the deal could carry some public-relations risk for the Kings. Small but fast growing, favored by NBA players and other athletes, Power Balance has been forced to defend its claims that its $29.95 silicone wristbands "work with your body's natural energy field" to enhance strength and athletic ability.
Last month the company, responding to complaints from Australian authorities, posted a statement on its Australian website offering refunds and acknowledging there's no "credible scientific evidence" supporting its claims. But the company recently issued a new statement standing by its products.
The company has been sued by at least three consumers, two in Southern California and one in Florida, alleging false advertising. The lawsuits seek class-action status.
SACRAMENTO MAYOR BELIEVES KINGS WANT TO LEAVE
March 10, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
Sacramento, Calif. - Mayor Kevin Johnson said his 40-minute meeting with the Kings owners
left him believing that the team has its sights set on Anaheim, and that Sacramento's only chance is if negotiations in Southern California fall through, the Sacramento Bee reported.
The mayor told reporters at a news conference he does "not think Sacramento can influence the outcome" of the Maloof family's negotiations.
Johnson said the Maloofs told him that they are not willing to hand over pivotal financial documents to a Sacramento-sponsored team that is studying how to build an arena in the city. The mayor said he took that as a sign that the Maloofs "are fully exploring their options, which appears to be Anaheim."
The Sacramento group, headed by downtown developer David Taylor and arena builder ICON Venue Group, has been unable to obtain a meeting with the Maloofs.
Johnson said the Maloofs also said "absolutely not" when he asked if they would be willing to sell the team if an ownership group from Sacramento steps up to buy it.
"So, for anybody out there who's wondering, they have no desire to sell the Sacramento Kings to a local ownership group or an ownership group anywhere," he said.
The mayor has said repeatedly that he would fight to keep the Kings since word leaked two weeks ago that the team was negotiating to move to the Honda Center in Anaheim. But he noted that the Maloofs are business owners and must do what works best for them.
Sacramento, he said, is a mid-sized market with an old arena.
"Even if our team is selling out, if you don't have more luxury suites and more club seats, it's hard economically to compete."
Still, Johnson said the Maloofs told him "they love Sacramento, they've been committed to Sacramento and they want everyone to know that. Their issue was not that they don't like Sacramento. They think we have the best fans."
Sacramento still has a chance to keep the team, Johnson said.
"If the dust settles, and Anaheim is not where they end up," he said, "they would 100 percent be willing to sit down with the ICON/Taylor group moving forward."
NAME CHANGE RECORDS REFLECT KINGS' PLANS TO MOVE
March 17, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
Sacramento, Calif. - A Sacramento television station says the Kings have filed papers with the
United States Patent and Trademark office that suggest the team would change its name if it moved into Anaheim's Honda Center.
KXTV reported that the trademark applications were filed March 3 by Scott Hervey, a Sacramento attorney who has represented the Maloof family on legal issues.
The names Anaheim Royals of Southern California and Orange County Royals, were also registered, the report said.
The Orange County Register noted the date of the filing was two days after the Maloofs received a deadline extension from the NBA Board of Governors to apply for relocation if they intend to move in time for next season. The new deadline is April 18.
The Sacramento Bee said Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof have steadfastly refused comment on any potential Anaheim move.
The Sacramento newspaper said a contract between the city of Anaheim and the managers of the Honda Center stipulates a team playing in that arena must identify itself as an Anaheim team, with Anaheim as the first word and "sole geographic identifier" in the team name.
Using the Anaheim name has been a sensitive point for the city ever since the baseball team changed its name to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Mayor Kevin Johnson told the Bee that city officials are examining the terms of the $67 million loan the Kings have with Sacramento to ensure there are no loopholes allowing the team to leave without paying off their debt.
"I want to make sure the city is made whole (if the team leaves)," the mayor said.
Sacramento developer David Taylor and arena giant ICON Venue Group said they are moving forward with a study of the costs and feasibility of building a sports and entertainment arena downtown, with or without a basketball team as tenant.
SACRAMENTO SEEKS ASSURANCES ON KINGS' LOAN
April 14, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
Sacramento, Calif. - Sacramento officials sent a new letter to the Kings, accusing the team of
being evasive on how it will pay its $77 million city loan, and calling for a meeting between team owners and city leaders, the Sacramento Bee reported.
At the same time, a Sacramento state senator has introduced a bill that would require the team to repay the loan immediately if they decide to leave. To make the bill take effective immediately, it would require a two-thirds vote of both houses.
Assistant City Manager John Dangberg told the Bee the city sent the letter because it wants the Kings to detail how and when they will repay the loan if they leave town. The city also wants the Kings to set up an escrow account for payment.
"I hereby request direct, non-evasive and unambiguous written responses," Dangberg wrote. The letter is the latest of several that have recently criss-crossed among involved parties. In response to an earlier Sacramento letter, a Kings attorney wrote that the team would address
the loan issue "at the appropriate time." Team co-owner George Maloof told the Bee the city will be "paid in full." Dangberg declined to tell the Bee if the city is considering taking the Kings to court before the
team leaves town. "We will take the next steps according to what happens here." City officials say they want the team to pay the loan balance in cash. It is unclear, however,
under the contract, whether the Kings could pay the loan partially in cash, and partially by leaving Power Balance Pavilion, formerly Arco Arena, in city ownership, the newspaper said.
At the Kings' request, the county appeals board reduced the valuation of the arena, the adjacent building, the land and fixtures by $12 million. The arena and practice court now are assessed at $35 million, and the total site at $51 million. Those numbers may not equate to the market value of the site, should the site come into play as collateral, the newspaper said.
If the city ends up with the arena, officials could be faced with deciding whether to sell it or hire a company to operate it for them.
The Bee said the outstanding debt on the loan is $67 million. However, if the loan is paid off now, that would trigger an estimated $10 million prepayment penalty, making the total amount today about $77 million, city officials say.
The city would forward that $77 million to private bond buyers who put up the initial loan.
The Kings are in the final stages of a deal to move to the city of Anaheim next year. That city has approved $75 million in bonds to facilitate the move.
The Kings have until April 18 to request NBA permission for the move.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson went to New York to encourage the league to keep the team in Sacramento.
Tim Romani, president and CEO of the ICON Venue Group, accompanied the mayor during his presentation to the NBA Board of Governors. ICON is working with Sacramento developer David Taylor on a City Hall-sponsored arena study due out next month.
Ducks owner Henry Samueli, Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait and Anaheim City Manager Tom Wood have also been asked to participate in the board of governors meetings, according to the Orange County Register.
If the team decides to apply for relocation, the Register says a relocation committee composed of a handful of NBA owners will study the Maloofs' proposal and make a recommendation to the full board within 120 days after an application is filed.
A majority vote of the 30 NBA owners, including the Maloofs, is required to approve relocation.
NBA GIVES KINGS UNTIL MAY 2 TO MAKE RELOCATION DECISION
April 21, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
Sacramento, Calif. - The Kings have until May 2 to ask for the NBA's permission to move the
team to Anaheim, according to the Sacramento Bee.
NBA Commissioner David Stern told the newspaper that the league's owners wanted more information on efforts in Sacramento to prove the city is a financially viable market for the Kings, as well as the incomplete deal in Anaheim to lure the team to Southern California.
Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett "will lead some fact-finding efforts to determine whether representations made by the mayor of Sacramento about the availability of certain inducements to cause the team to stay can be reduced to certainty," Stern said.
Mayor Kevin Johnson told the league on that the business community had committed to $7 million in sponsorships and ticket purchases for the Kings. Stern said the league's relocation committee would meet with the local business community and the mayor.
The commissioner said the discussion to keep the team in Sacramento must also concentrate on a new arena, a topic that is "usually an eye-roller" given the failed attempts of the past.
"The issue first and foremost in Sacramento is whether there's the will or the ability to build a new arena for the team and other events," Stern said.
Stern said there were also questions from the owners regarding the Anaheim deal, including potential television contracts and upgrades needed to that city's Honda Center to make it a profitable NBA facility. Stern said terms of the complicated Anaheim deal were still changing in the past few days.
"The terms of the relocation to Anaheim were not fully understood by the committee," said Stern, who added the Southern California market could support another team.
Asked if the new May 2 deadline would give the Kings enough time to move before the start of next season, Stern said the Kings are "not forced to stay in Sacramento at all."
Stern said the offer by billionaire Ron Burkle to buy the Kings or move another team to Sacramento "are not high agenda items" for the NBA right now.
The reaction was different from the Maloofs, who own the Kings, who said they aren't interested in selling.
Burkle, in partnership with Sacramento lobbyist and developer Darius Anderson, emerged as last-minute potential buyers of the NBA in Sacramento. The duo told the Bee they would lead a group that could purchase the Kings – or buy another team for the city should the Kings move to Anaheim.
Despite its interest in Sacramento, Burkle's group put the same conditions on a deal that have stymied the Maloofs and city officials for the past decade: construction of a new arena to replace faded Power Balance Pavilion.
"We definitely want a new arena," Anderson told the Bee.
REPORTS SAY KINGS TO REMAIN IN SACRAMENTO
April 28, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
Sacramento, Calif. - The Los Angeles Times quotes NBA sources as saying the league expects
the Kings to remain in Sacramento next season.
Whether the team, which was about to seek permission to move to Honda Center in Anaheim, stays in Sacramento beyond next season is yet to be decided, the newspaper said.
Officials say it will depend on Sacramento-area governing bodies and businesses fulfilling Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson's pledges to the NBA relocation committee, including construction of a downtown arena for the Kings.
Commissioner David Stern declined to compare the Sacramento and Anaheim packages - "That's for the committee to decide," he said - but confirmed the NBA's continuing interest in Sacramento's offer.
"Mayor Johnson made certain representations about community support that he had secured," Stern told the Times. "The committee thought it would be prudent to send an NBA task force out to Sacramento to verify those commitments.
League officials agree that if Sacramento lives up to its pledges, committee members and NBA officials want the team to stay there long-term, the Times said.
Johnson's plan reportedly calls for a six-county "joint powers authority" to finance a new downtown Sacramento sports and entertainment facility for basketball and other community events.
Yuba City Mayor John Dukes said he will head up the multi-county group, and intends to call a meeting later to brief regional officials on a possible financing plan. Dukes said he is working with Mayor Johnson, state Sen. Darrell Steinberg and other local leaders on the plan aimed at helping keep the Sacramento Kings in town.
NBA officials agree that there is no problem with Anaheim's offer, or the area's suitability. The issue is Sacramento's bid, which was big and, as far as the committee has found to date, solid. At that point, Anaheim became, as one league official put it, "immaterial."
As for the Maloof family which owns the Kings, the Sacramento Bee says they no longer control their destiny, they issued a statement saying, "We have not made a decision with regards to relocation filing, and will not make that decision until we have more information from the NBA."
Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett, a member of the relocation committee, and NBA attorney Harvey Benjamin spent two days in Sacramento reviewing the plan.
Bennett's report noted that Johnson's pledge of $9.2 million in purchases of luxury suites and Kings season tickets by local businesses has been met and exceeded, league officials told the Times.
Johnson secured a promises of sponsorships for the teams and convinced companies to put 20 percent down on pledges that totaled $10 million. The Bee said companies that made pledges include American River Packaging, Anheuser-Busch/Markstein Beverages, Arden Fair Mall, AT&T, Barry Katz, Brown Construction Inc, Burger Rehabilitation, Buzz Oates Group of Companies, Capitol City Escrow, Golden 1 Credit Union, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Hallsten Corporation, Jiffy Lube, Kamilos Group, Kevin Nagle Foundation, McDonald's, Mechanics Bank, Rabobank, Sacramento Jet Center, Sacramento Rivertrain, Sleep Train, SMUD, SPI Solar Power, SureWest Communications, Sutter Health, Synergex, Thunder Valley Casino, VSP Vision Care, Weintraub, Genshlea Chediak, Wells Fargo, Western Health Advantage and Zoom Imaging Solutions, Inc.
With the new May 2 deadline, the relocation committee is then expected to convene this week.
If Sacramento's offer stands up, the Times said the committee is expected to recommend that the Kings remain there next season.
At that point, if the Maloofs wanted to move, they would have petition the same committee and league officials for approval. If the committee bars the Maloofs' path, the Times said their only other option would be an antitrust suit.
Should the Kings stay in Sacramento, the Bee said officials have made it clear the city would have a short period, possibly no later than March of next year, to have a plan and solid financing in place to build a new sports and entertainment facility. Absent that, NBA officials have said the city cannot economically support a team.
Anaheim has approved $75 million in bonds backed by companies of Henry Samueli, the Honda Center operator and owner of the NHL's Ducks, for NBA relocation fees and arena improvements.
KINGS COMMIT TO ONE MORE YEAR IN SACRAMENTO
May 5, 2011
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Sacramento, Calif. - The Maloof family has agreed to keep the Kings in Sacramento at the
former Arco Arena one more year, but the long term future will hinge on whether the city can build a new arena for the franchise.
"We are heading back to Sacramento. It was a tough decision. Ticket holders were reaching out to us, and it was the right thing to do to give it a shot at one more season," George Maloof said during an interview with the Sacramento Bee in his office in the Palms casino in Las Vegas.
The Bee said NBA commissioner David Stern told the Maloofs this was the right decision. Maloof said Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson now has to come up with a plan by March 1.
"We are prepared to work with the mayor," Maloof said. "We'll give him every opportunity to show us what he has in mind."
"We're not going in with a defeatist attitude," he added. "We'll look to the mayor to turn his words into reality. We have to put him on the spot. He has represented he can get it done. It needs to get done."
Maloof said the franchise will continue its relationship with Anaheim officials.
"Henry (Samueli, operator of the Honda Center) is a stand-up guy," Maloof said. "We have a deal with Henry we feel is fair. The NBA had issues with the media (TV contract) component."
Johnson launched a late campaign to solicit $10 million in new corporate sponsorships for the team next season. League officials, in turn, are said to have told the Maloofs privately they want the team to remain in Sacramento, at least for one more year to give Sacramento a last chance to pull together a plan and financing for a new sports and entertainment arena.
Now that the Kings will be here one more year, the Bee said the team needs to get to work with marketing for the upcoming season.
"We want to call all our corporate sponsors right away," Maloof said. "We want to call everyone who reached out to us the past several weeks. We want to thank them and we want to sell tickets right away."
The team will also seek the NBA's assistance in marketing the franchise and helping to sell tickets for next season, Maloof said.
With the arena now the focus, Sacramento officials here have been talking about forming a multi-county "joint powers authority" to finance a facility, but said they have not yet determined what revenues might be tapped to pay for the project.
KXTV said six northern California counties recently talked about the Joint Powers Authority and three counties have said they most likely will not participate.
The Joint Powers Authority originally included Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, Yolo, Yuba and Sutter counties. However, a few supervisors for Yolo, Yuba and Sutter counties told KXTV they are not interested and don't want to help finance a Sports and Entertainment complex, which would replace Power Balance Pavilion.
Stan Cleveland, a Sutter County Supervisor said taxpayers' money can be spent more wisely.
"Right now, 100 percent (of people commenting) side with not using taxpayers' money," he told the television station. "They don't want their money going there."
If building a new sports complex using taxpayer money was to go on the ballot, Cleveland said "there's no chance that it would pass."
The Bee says the decision to stay in Sacramento, however, leaves the team in a precarious financial position. The Kings' owners are said to have serious concerns about being able to survive financially in Sacramento without a new arena.
The team owners are believed to have talked recently with Southern California billionaire Ron Burkle, who has publicly said he wants to buy the team or a stake in the team to help keep it in Sacramento. However, Maloof family members have said they do not want to sell the team.
KINGS TO OPEN FINANCIALS TO CITY
May 19, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
Sacramento, Calif. - Sacramento Kings co-owner George Maloof has agreed to make team
financial data available to a city-commissioned group studying ways to finance a new sports and entertainment facility, the Sacramento Bee said.
That group, headed by national arena builder ICON Venue Group and downtown Sacramento developer David Taylor, is due to present an arena feasibility study to the City Council on May 26.
Team officials previously refused to provide business data for the study.
The team was negotiating a move to Anaheim for the upcoming season but decided against that move for now.
Mayor Kevin Johnson and ICON representatives met in Las Vegas last week with George Maloof, who runs the family's Palms hotel and casino, and has been designated his family's point man on the Sacramento arena project.
"Whatever (business data) they need, we'll help out," Maloof told the Bee after the meeting.
Maloof, however, said it's too early to discuss how much his family might contribute financially to a new facility. He said he needs to know more about Sacramento's approach to financing and operating a facility.
The mayor issued a statement calling the meeting "positive and constructive."
NBA officials and Kings owners said the team will stay in Sacramento at least one more season, but would look to move elsewhere if Sacramento doesn't produce a workable arena plan prior to March 2012. They contend the team can't survive in Sacramento without the added revenue a modern arena with more amenities would provide.
As to the long term, the issue isn't clear. In an interview with ESPN Los Angeles, George Maloof said he was surprised the team didn't move to Anaheim.
"The decision to remain in Sacramento was tough," Maloof said. "We had what we thought was a very fair opportunity in Anaheim. It was basically a negotiated lease with Henry and Susan Samueli [who own the Anaheim Ducks and operate the Honda Center]. It was a difficult decision to remain in Sacramento. I'm not going to sugarcoat that but we're going to give it another shot. We're going to give it an honest shot. And hopefully there's an arena there, and if not we're going to have to move on."
ESPN quoted Maloof saying that Johnson was trying to keep his promise to build a new arena, but that the task would be difficult.
"It's not going to be easy. We don't want to go back and fool anybody that it's going to be a slam dunk. We're not going to come back and tell the community we're here forever. It's this year. If you buy tickets, it's for this year and there are no promises beyond that."
SACRAMENTO NAMING RIGHTS SPONSOR IN BANKRUPTCY
December 1, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
Sacramento, Calif. - Power Balance, the company whose name is emblazoned on the
Sacramento Kings' arena, has filed for bankruptcy protection and could be forced to repay tens of millions of dollars to customers who bought its popular silicone bracelets.
The Sacramento Bee said it's not clear what impact the Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization filing will have on the Kings or their quest for a new arena.
A list of Power Balance debts filed with the bankruptcy court includes $100,000 owed to the Kings. The team is listed as an unsecured creditor, meaning it will take a back seat to secured creditors in recovering any money owed by Power Balance.
Officials with both the company and the Kings said they expect to continue their business partnership. The financial terms of Power Balance's five-year deal with the Kings have not been released.
"It is business as usual, and Power Balance continues to be a happy supporter of the Kings and the Sacramento community," Power Balance spokesman Jason Damata told the Bee.
Kings spokesman Chris Clark said the company has "assured us of their commitment to the Sacramento Kings and the surrounding community, and we expect to continue our productive partnership through this process and into the future."
The former Arco Arena was renamed Power Balance Pavilion in March. That deal ended a 25-year relationship the Kings had with Arco that paid the team $750,000 a year.
Just weeks before the agreement was reached, Power Balance was sued by customers alleging that it falsely claimed that its bracelets improved athletic performance. At the time, Kings officials lauded the naming rights deal, with team co-owner Joe Maloof saying it was "a big win for the franchise."
In September, Power Balance agreed to settle a class action lawsuit filed in federal court in Los Angeles. Under the terms of the settlement, which is not yet finalized, anyone who bought a wristband would be eligible for a refund of the $30 purchase price, plus $5 for shipping, according to federal court documents.
If every customer who has purchased a wristband demands a refund, the settlement could cost Power Balance $57.4 million, according to Kevin Boyle, an attorney with Panish, Shea & Boyle and the plaintiffs' lead counsel on the case.
A hearing to finalize the settlement was canceled after the Chapter 11 filing.
Last year, an Australian sports authority ordered Power Balance to admit there was "no credible scientific evidence that supports" claims that the wristbands improve athletic performance.
In documents filed in bankruptcy court, Power Balance estimates that its debts total between $10 million and $50 million, while its assets are somewhere between $1 million and $10 million.
POWER BALANCE COULD WITHDRAW AS NAMING RIGHTS SPONSOR
December 8, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
Sacramento, Calif. - The Sacramento Bee says Power Balance LLC could withdraw as naming
rights sponsor for the Kings arena.
Cash-starved Power Balance, which has filed for bankruptcy, expects to be sold soon, and court
papers say the likely buyer doesn't plan to maintain the marketing deal that turned the former Arco Arena into Power Balance Pavilion.
That could change between now and Dec. 20, when Power Balance's business is scheduled to be auctioned off. Hanyang LLC, the Southern California company in line to buy Power Balance, could choose to retain the contract with the Kings after all. Someone could outbid Hanyang and decide to keep the Kings' deal.
"Don't jump to any conclusions," said Denny Barge, a principal in Hanyang. He indicated Hanyang didn't have all the data it needed on the deal when it made its bid for Power Balance.
The majority owner of Hanyang is married to a woman who owns the Hong Kong firm that supplies Power Balance with its wristbands, according to court records.
Kings spokesman Chris Clark said, "Power Balance has assured us that their commitment to the Sacramento Kings is a priority, and we expect to work with them through this process."
The exact terms of the Kings' deal with Power Balance were never disclosed, but team co-owner Joe Maloof told the Bee in January that the deal eventually would pay more than the prior contract with Arco. That deal paid $750,000 a year, according to a survey by Marquette University.
Power Balance already owes the Kings $100,000, according to court records.
Power Balance said its only real hope is a sale. Hanyang has made a "stalking horse" bid of $5.8 million, according to court records. The stalking horse status gives Hanyang the inside track, but others could jump into the auction.
Under bankruptcy laws, the buyer would have the right to walk away from the Kings deal or any other contract. Power Balance's $100,000 debt to the Kings would still be in effect, and would have to be resolved from the proceeds of the sale of the company. The newspaper said it's not clear if the sale would generate enough cash to pay the Kings in full.
In its court filing, Power Balance said it has more than 150 contracts, including the Kings' arena deal and endorsements with multiple athletes, including the Kings' Tyreke Evans.
The company's filing said it expects Hanyang to sever more than 60 of its contracts, including the Kings' arena deal and the endorsement contract with Evans. Marketing agreements with Lakers star Kobe Bryant and hockey's Los Angeles Kings also would be dropped.
POWER BALANCE MAY KEEP NAME ON ARENA
January 5, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures
Sacramento, Calif. - A Southern California company won court approval to buy Power Balance
LLC and will continue negotiating to keep the Power Balance name on the Sacramento Kings' arena, the Sacramento Bee reported.
A bankruptcy judge in Santa Ana cleared the way for Hanyang LLC to purchase Power Balance, a marketer of sports wristbands, said Power Balance attorney Marc Winthrop.
A source told the Bee the new owner was trying to negotiate financial terms with the Kings.
While the terms of the existing contract haven't been disclosed, Kings co-owner Joe Maloof has said it would eventually be more lucrative than the Arco deal. Arco reportedly paid the team $750,000 a year. Power Balance signed a five-year naming-rights deal with the Kings in January to turn Arco Arena into Power Balance Pavilion.
The company filed for bankruptcy protection a month ago because of plunging sales and a swarm of consumer lawsuits over the alleged health benefits of its products.
Power Balance owes the team $100,000 on the contract, according to court papers.
KINGS IN COURT OVER POWER BALANCE NAMING RIGHTS DEAL
February 23, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures
Sacramento, Calif. - The Sacramento Kings stand to lose $8.3 million if their sponsorship with
troubled wristband maker Power Balance falls apart, the Sacramento Bee reported.
The team filed a claim in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for $8.3 million - the unpaid amount left on
the naming rights deal that turned Arco Arena into Power Balance Pavilion last year. The court filing in Santa Ana is the first time financial terms of the contract have been made public.
While the contract was supposed to run through 2016, the relationship was left in limbo after Power Balance filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last fall.
The Kings say they are still talking to the company that bought Power Balance out of bankruptcy about salvaging the relationship. But the court filing raises the possibility of the team severing its ties.
Not only would the Kings' owners be out millions, they would have to spend money erasing all traces of Power Balance from the arena.
"The Kings estimate that removing (Power Balance's) logo from the arena building and practice facility, various locations within the arena, and other locations such as programs, stationery and merchandise will cost approximately $200,000," the team's attorney Robert Trodella said in the court filing.
Power Balance's woes represent another setback for the Kings' owners, the Maloofs, who are struggling to improve revenue and have threatened to leave town if they can't get a new arena built. The team's player payroll is the lowest in the NBA for the second straight year.
Kings officials and the NBA have declared the arena unfit. Sacramento officials are rushing to beat an NBA-imposed March 1 deadline to complete a financing package on a new downtown arena.
Power Balance filed for Chapter 11 after getting buried by demands for restitution from consumers saying they had been deceived about the supposed health benefits of the company's silicone wristbands.
The company was then purchased for around $7 million by Hanyang LLC, a Southern California company with ties to Power Balance's main supplier and biggest creditor. Hanyang scrapped the Kings contract, a legal move under bankruptcy law. But the new owner has been talking to the Maloof family about a new contract.
Court records show Power Balance's new owner also walked away from endorsement deals with Kings star Tyreke Evans and other athletes.
The Maloofs' court claim says Power Balance was to pay $975,000 the first year, $1.53 million the second, $1.9 million the third, $2.25 million the fourth and $2.35 million in year five.
So far, however, the Kings have collected just $700,000 of the first year's amount, the court filing said.
ENGINEER SAYS KINGS' ARENA COULD BE RENOVATED
May 10, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures
Sacramento, Calif. - A local engineer and a former Sacramento Kings executive say it's possible
to give Power Balance Pavilion a major facelift and make it one of the best arenas in America, KOVR reported.
For a quarter of the price of a new downtown arena, former Kings executive Greg Van Dusen says his group can do what many think is impossible - refurbish the existing arena in Natomas for about $100 million.
"I think that we'll come to a great agreement on this when people see what is possible and what is possible will be absolutely spectacular," he said.
Gerardo Calvillo, the original and current structural engineer of Power Balance Pavilion, rolled out a blueprint of how he could add club seats and luxury suites for a relatively low price.
"You have countless ways you can address all the needs," he said. "You have to do planning and decide what you want to do with it."
According the Van Dusen, his plan would take about a year to a year and a half to complete, during which the Kings would still be able to play all of their home games at the arena.