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Kings’ relocation: Follow the television money to Anaheim

Mar 31, 2011, 4:35 PM EDT

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

That lease deal the city of Anaheim approved and is now awaiting a Maloof signature is not a great one for the Kings. Not really close. They take on more debt — a $50 million loan — and don’t get all the luxury box money, and just a percentage of concessions, parking and other incomes. Nobody should be calling it a sweet deal.

So how does it pencil out for the Kings?

Television money. As Sam Amick explained at his NBA Confidential (in a follow up to his exhaustive piece for ESPN), the television market is what changes everything.

Currently the Kings make $11 million a year from Comcast, Amick reports (the first time we have heard a figure).

In the Southern California market, they will likely at least triple that. Or quadruple it (which is what people around the Kings have hinted). Or more.

The Lakers just signed a 20-year deal with a soon-to-be-launched new cable sports network that the team swears is not going to pay them the reported $150 million a year everybody keeps hearing. But you can bet it’s in that ballpark. Although it may be 10 percent less at if the Kings move to town. So only $135 million a year.

Now they are the Lakers, the kings of all sports media in Los Angeles. They are story one, two and three in a city without an NFL team. The Kings are not going to get near that. But a third of that?

Fox Sports West needs someone to replace the Lakers on their schedule. There is an opening. Television ratings will come if they are successful. That is the key in Orange County and the Southern California (for attendance as well).

An extra $20-$30 million a year covers a lot of problems for the Maloof brothers. As always, it’s about the money. This time, it’s just television money more than just stadium money.

  1. musilly - Mar 31, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    I’m wondering why Anaheim and not San Diego. Is there not an appropriate arena down there? TV deal wouldn’t be as lucrative?

    • purdueman - Mar 31, 2011 at 5:42 PM

      The former home of the San Diego (now LA), Clippers is still standing, but barely. The place is a dump just like the outdated LA Forum is and frankly needs to be imploded. The only other arena in San Diego is the Cox Arena on the campus of San Diego State University.

      The Cox Arena has no luxury suites (a must these days for NBA teams), and little parking. The other problem of course is that being on a college campus there’s no liquor license (another must for any professional team).

      The City of San Diego is in bankruptcy too, so there’s no public money even if San Diego wanted to raise and replace the ancient Sports Arena (which sits on city owned property).

    • hnirobert3 - Apr 1, 2011 at 8:09 AM

      I’d go Seattle, then Vegas, before Anaheim.

      • purdueman - Apr 1, 2011 at 10:41 AM

        hniro…. and that’s exactly why you’re not rich and own an NBA team too. Rich people get that way because they make good business decisions.

        Relocating the Kings to Seattle or San Diego would insure either an eventual 2nd move or bankruptcy, as neither city has an NBA ready arena and neither city can offer anywhere near the cable tv deal Fox Sports West is likely to give the team in order to fill the huge void in their programming schedule that will be created by the Lakers pull out next season.

        Bottom line? We’re not talking about (make believe), roto ball here; we’re talking about a $283 million dollar business. If it were roto ball, there wouldn’t even be any issues moving the team to Fargo, because it’s simply a couple of swipes of an eraser on a pad of paper, but it’s not.

  2. chargerdillon - Mar 31, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    There’s really no suitable full time arena down in San Diego. The Aztecs play at the Viejas arena on campus and thats about the closest thing to what an adequate NBA arena might look like.

    Keep in mind San Diego is the city that will probably be losing an NFL franchise in a few years because the city and and the owners are too cheap to want to front the bill.

    I’ve also wondered why San Diego can’t get a MLS soccer franchise

    My assessment: When it comes to San Diego, we spend our money on weed and surf boards before sports tickets

    • purdueman - Mar 31, 2011 at 9:52 PM

      The Viejas Arena (my bad.. I still think of it as being the Cox (cable) Arena), has no luxury suites, inadequate parking and no liquor license (and trying to get one on a permanent basis on a college campus just ain’t gonna happen).

      The Chargers will leave for LA at the end of next season, because if they don’t they’ll be forced into negotiating a lease extension at the Q. The Chargers owners, the Spandex’s, have always been opportunistic carpetbaggers from Stockton; they have no stake in San Diego.

      Now that the old man (Alex Spandex), has dementia (which has been widely reported), and is rumored to now be doing his best Richard Nixon impression (i.e., walking around in the nude in the middle of the night talking to the Renaissance Nude paintings hanging in his house just as Nixon talked to portraits in the White House of dead Presidents), his born with a platinum spoon in his mouth son Dean (current CEO), can’t wait to strike gold in LA.

      The best thing that the city of San Diego could possibly do is to try and get a franchise in the Mexican professional soccer league and play games at the Q. I agree with you 100%; that would be far more successful than an NBA franchise in San Diego.

  3. purdueman - Mar 31, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    I can’t wait for all the naysayers (and we all know who you are… you live within 10 minutes of the Honda Center in Anaheim and and therefore are experts that the OC won’t support a relocated Kings franchise), who are simply beside themselves over the idea of the Kings relocating to Anaheim to start talking trash in their posts again as to how the LA/OC/Riverside County markets can’t possibly support three NBA teams! (LOL!).

    As I’ve posted previously, the reason why college football now has so many meaningless bowl games is due to the lust of cable tv to have live sporting events to broadcast. What are men in the target demographic between the ages of 18-45 going to watch on a Tuesday night? Reruns of Desperate Housewives, Family Fued or a live NBA game? (ANY live NBA game).

    What are all of the bars across Southern California more likely to tune in on their flatscreen tv’s? A WNBA game, a taped women’s synchronized swim meet, or a live NBA game featuring a local team?

    As Archie Bunker liked to say, “Case closed, Edith!”.

    • ibejeph - Apr 1, 2011 at 11:22 AM

      Can’t let it go, can you? I leave here, go on with my life but you stick around, posting about things that don’t matter. Have fun owning the internets.

      I’ve already posed questions that you can’t answer. Why go about making you uncomfortable again? If you can’t admit I have good points, regurgitating my devastating arguments won’t make you.

      Just a word of advice, hyperbole and bombastic but unsubstantiated statements do not constitute a good argument. For instance, saying that NBA owners, because they are rich, have smart people looking into making good decisions is not a good argument, especially when this particular NBA ownership group has:

      1. Failed for a decade or longer to get Sacramento to build a new arena.
      2. Failed to put a .500 team on the floor the last 5 years (let alone get to the playoffs).
      3. Failed in any sort of coaching consistency.
      4. Failed in attendance (2nd worst attendance this and last season, worst attendance in ’08).

      This ownership group was also responsible for overextending their casino empire and are not hurting for cash flow.

      Facts make a statement true. I just took your fact-less statement and made it untrue with facts. See how that works?

      • purdueman - Apr 1, 2011 at 12:41 PM

        I can’t let it go ibej? HA HA HA! That’s a hot one! You’re the one who won’t let it go as is evidenced by your latest rant.

        I’ve more than answered all of the questions that have been raised by not just you, but all others as well; you’re the one whose panties are all tied up in a knot over the Kings moving to Anaheim, not me. I’m glad to see an NBA team finally move into the Honda Center and don’t really give one happy damn what Laker or Clipper fans think.

  4. SmackSaw - Mar 31, 2011 at 6:05 PM

    Orange County will cater to North San Diego County(ie; the rich part) The San Diego Sports Arena is older and has less to offer corporately, like suites and boxes, than Arco Arena, or whatever they call it now. It has even less than Key Arena in Seattle that no one wants to play in.

    • purdueman - Mar 31, 2011 at 10:57 PM

      Anyone entering the ancient San Diego Sports Arena should be made to wear a hardhat and sign a liability waiver… even the rats!

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