All Signs Point to Sacramento Getting Royally Flushed


Frustrated Kings fan displays his concern about team’s future in Sacramento
Source: AbelaVista.com

Imagine Orlando without its Magic.  Just think – after 11 more games, we could never see the Magic play again.

We would never see Turk in Magic pinstripes tossing incredible alley-oop feeds to Dwight Howard for massive dunks anymore.

No more last second miracle threes from Jameer in downtown Orlando.

No more humorous dictator commentary about David Stern from Van Gundy, standing up for his Magic players.

As if it were an actual magic act, our hometown franchise of 21 years could, after this season, simply vanish away from Orlando forever.

Obviously, and fortunately, the Magic are not leaving Central Florida.  With a brand new arena, over 100 consecutive sellouts, and sizable community investment from the organization’s management, the Orlando Magic will certainly remain in town for many years to come.

Sadly, however, the basketball fans of Sacramento, California are on the verge of the bummer reality that Orlando managed to avoid.

Much like the Sonics bolted out of Seattle a few years ago, the Sacramento Kings are teetering ever closer to saying goodbye to northern California forever, leaving longtime Kings fans to come to grips with watching their team pack up and head out.  Many reports have come out that the potential move of the Kings is appearing to become more of a certainty.

In recent weeks, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office received registration applications from the attorney of the Maloof family, owners of the Sacramento Kings, for titles such as “Anaheim Royals” and “Anaheim Royals of Southern California.”  Furthermore, the Sacramento Bee reports that an unknown source purchased the rights to both ”anaheimroyals.com” and “laroyals.com” web domain names.  Meanwhile, the city council of Anaheim, California has begun talks to renovate the city’s 18 year old Honda Center arena, currently home of the NHL’s Ducks, to make the venue “NBA-ready.”

So, yes, Sacramento, now would be a good time to catch a Kings game.  All signs point south to your team becoming the third basketball franchise in greater Los Angeles next year.

After browsing the Kings website today, I noticed that there is not even a link to renew season tickets for the upcoming season.  In my opinion,  that pretty much seals the deal on relocation, sorry to say.  To compare, it is nearly impossible to go on the Orlando Magic website and not see an enticing offer to lock in season tickets for the 2011-2012 season, even with a potentially lengthy lockout on the horizon.

While I think that moving another team to Los Angeles is a dumb, nonsensical idea, the Kings ownership appears to be full speed ahead on relocation to SoCal.  Apparently the Maloof family believes that their franchise will be able to succeed in a market that is already monopolized by the Lakers.  Even the Clippers have struggled to catch on in LA, playing second fiddle to the Lake Show for decades until only recently gaining some attention with phenom Blake Griffin.  I simply do not see a third team really gaining much traction in Anaheim.

The Kings have been a well-supported franchise in Sacramento since arriving in the mid-1980s, even during some very miserable seasons.  But an aging arena, paired with a stagnant economy and lingering effects of the mortgage bubble burst, leaves the city of Sacramento unwilling and unable to grant the team’s wish of building a new venue.  Therefore, the team’s ownership is looking elsewhere for the future, apparently seeing blue skies in Anaheim, even though Anaheim’s Honda Center is a mere 5 years newer than Sacramento’s Power Balance Pavilion.

However, the Boston Herald does emphasize that relocation is not necessarily a guarantee as the process would have to be approved by a majority (15 of 29) of the NBA’s team owners this upcoming summer.  But, considering the amount of steps the Kings management has already taken to prepare for a move, I am pretty sure the Royals will soon become a reality.

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