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Comparing markets, attendance and ownership in Sacramento and Seattle

Mar 9, 2013, 9:00 PM EDT


We’ve discussed the issues that will determine whether or not the Sacramento Kings stay in California’s capitol or go to Seattle, including the impact of public subsidy support in both cities, the race between the two cities for an arena deal, and what lawsuits pending in Seattle mean to the process.

Next we take a look at markets, attendance, and ownership groups for both locations.

Sources with knowledge of the league’s thinking tell PBT that neither city will have a discernible advantage in these areas heading into meetings with the Board of Governors joint committees on April 3.

Seattle enjoys the nation’s No. 12 television market but shares that market with up to six sports teams, an issue that has come under great scrutiny when comparing Seattle with Sacramento, something the Sacramento side brings up often.  David Stern pointed the issue out at All Star weekend, Chris Hansen’s group reported the same idea in its market analysis, and Sacramento’s group highlighted the same thing this past week when they unveiled their market analysis to the press.

A potential Sonics franchise would share Seattle’s larger market with the Mariners, Seahawks, Sounders, and University of Washington football, in addition to an NHL team if Hansen’s group can make it happen.

That would reportedly position Seattle closer to Sacramento’s No. 20 television market, where the NBA enjoys 100 percent market share.

Think Big Sacramento, the city’s arena task force, put out a report this week contending that they are a better market than Seattle, which is what they’re supposed to say, but when you look at a similar report put out by Chris Hansen’s group the two sides aren’t necessarily squabbling over the details.

Hansen’s report indicates that Sacramento has 1.4 million TV homes per team (NBA, NFL, NBA, NHL), compared to 937,000 TV Homes for Seattle under the current scenario of two sports teams (Mariners and Seahawks) already in town.

Under this metric, Sacramento ranks No. 2 and Seattle ranks No. 4.  Orlando is ranked No. 1, L.A. is ranked No. 3, New York is No. 5, and from there it goes Atlanta, Philadelphia, Houston, Chicago and Dallas — mostly large markets.

Should Seattle secure both an NBA and NHL team they will fall to No. 15 on Hansen’s report.  If you add the successful Seattle Sounders MLS franchise to the metrics as Hansen’s group does, then Seattle falls to No. 21 assuming they land two new pro sports franchises.

League sources say the TV Homes per team metric is one of the reasons small-to-mid markets like Orlando, Sacramento, and Seattle are coveted by the league.  Networks understand the competitive impact of multiple sports teams in a region that steal away eyeballs and ratings, and they include such analysis in their bids for rights packages and the like.

Otherwise, leagues would contend that ‘TV Homes’ never watched any of the other sporting options available to them, and instead just the games that a particular league is selling to a network.

Still, Hansen’s report states that Seattle (84) has 30 more businesses than Sacramento (54) with 1,000 or more employees, and Seattle’s household median income is ranked No. 6 ($66,500) compared to Sacramento at No. 8 ($63,618). However, if you use the 2011 federal numbers for the counties of these cities (King County and Sacramento County, and work to draw fans outside the city limits) that gap grows to more than $15,000 a household.

Just like other professional teams cut into the NBA’s TV viewership in Seattle, sources say the same issue mitigates the advantage the Emerald City has in terms of potential sponsors.  The issue was summed up by longtime Seattle writer Art Thiel, as he said in a recent roundtable discussion between local pro- and anti-arena groups that competition for sponsorships in Seattle could be a problem.

“Which team in Seattle is the sixth ticket in town? When you consider Seahawks, Mariners, Sounders, University of Washington sports and then these two new teams that might occupy Hansen’s arena … the complicated business problem in Seattle is that our major companies here like Amazon and Microsoft are either bit or ‘no’ players in the sports sponsorship scene. They don’t buy the suites, they don’t do the sponsorships at least at the same degree as you find elsewhere with Fortune 500 companies.”

At his State of the City address last week, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson revealed that he had sponsorship commitments of $50 million over five years from local businesses, which is similar to the $10 million Johnson secured when the Maloofs tried to leave for Anaheim in 2011.

It is unclear what Seattle has presented to the league on that front, as Seattle supporters have maintained that Hansen is under a gag order and cannot talk about his proposal to the press.

As for Hansen’s arena task force marketing itself or leaking information to the media about sponsorship support in Seattle, league sources do not expect the group to be public about their position.  As they put it, “when you’re trying to take a team from another city, particularly one that is fighting as hard as Sacramento is, it pays to be quiet.”

Past attendance will likely be a moot point or favor Sacramento, as Kings fans have turned out at the gate more frequently than their Sonics counterparts over the years.

Given the constant relocation threats and substandard ownership over the past five years, sources say the league is impressed that Kings fans continue to show up the way that they did, just as the league was impressed with Sonics fans when they showed up for the last two years under Clay Bennett prior to the team’s move to Oklahoma City.

Sources say the league won’t be overly critical of attendance in either city once public relations became a nightmare.  This was the case starting in 2006 in Sacramento after the Maloofs torched an arena deal and in that same year when Bennett took over ownership of the Sonics.

Ownership groups are another area in which sources tell PBT that the league is likely to conduct itself with some ambivalence.

Steve Ballmer is ranked No. 51 on Forbes’ top billionaires list, while Chris Hansen, Ron Burkle, and Mark Mastrov are not listed.  Each ownership group is “overly qualified” to own an NBA franchise, and the sports connections each group brings to the table are regarded as second-to-none.  Burkle is a finalist to purchase sports and entertainment powerhouse AEG, while Ballmer’s wealth alone is enough to make most owners blush.

Sources with knowledge of the league’s thinking said this is a great problem for the NBA to have, but pointed out that the league is highly unlikely to make this a question about which ownership group is better, instead letting the other factors decide the matter.  “There are only so many yachts these guys can water ski behind, and while Hansen and Ballmer are a dream team when it comes to ownership, it’s doubtful the NBA is going to downgrade Burkle and Mastrov.”

The source added that it didn’t make sense for the league to pit the ownership groups against one another, noting the association still wants to do business with both well into the future.

After David Stern’s press conference on Friday in which he said the Sacramento offer needed to be increased, and subsequent votes of confidence from Mastrov and Johnson that they would be able to deliver, the framework for discussion among owners is all but laid out.

Assuming Sacramento can provide the right offer, with the two cities drawing toward a tie on the issues of markets, attendance and ownership groups, the source said that with the advantage Sacramento has on the public subsidy issue, “Tie should go to the runner.”

  1. cosanostra71 - Mar 9, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    “the complicated business problem in Seattle is that our major companies here like Amazon and Microsoft are either bit or ‘no’ players in the sports sponsorship scene”

    Microsoft is a bit or no player in the sports sponsorship scene? Isn’t Steve Ballmer (part of the ownership group) the CEO of Microsoft? Isn’t Microsoft Xbox 360 the jersey sponsor of Sounders FC? Isn’t Paul Allen (owner of the Seahawks) a former Microsoft executive and still huge influence there? That statement makes little to no sense to me.

    • cosanostra71 - Mar 9, 2013 at 10:23 PM

      And even assuming those two companies weren’t interested, it’s not like they’re the only potential corporate sponsors up there. It’s not like Starbucks, Boeing, Nordstroms, Costco, Group Health, Alaska Airlines, Eddie Bauer, Nintendo and T-Mobile are mom and pops.

    • badintent - Mar 9, 2013 at 10:41 PM

      I got your back on that. Seattle is all about big business $$$$$$$. Scat is about taxpaper$$$ and public workers( see job cut backs). Cali going broke( again, old news). No one is moving a large biz to Scat, the state taxes are stupid high, the state income tax is in the top 3 and if Sutter didn’t find gold there in 1849, no one goes there , EVER.No income tax in Washington, low cost of commercial real estate and a great tradition of great sport fans.Microsoft pulls more politicans strings there than raindrops falling on Meg Ryan’s head( had to slip that diss in , sorry ).

      • arenagate2013 - Mar 13, 2013 at 6:10 AM

        badintent: Since you said Seattle is “all about big business $$$$$$$,” where were the local investors who could have stepped in to save the Sonics when Howard Schultz had to sell the team to someone outside of the city and state in Clay Bennett? Are they currently making pledges to show their support? If they are I certainly have not heard about it. Maybe that is what Chris Hansen will do next as he takes another page out of Sacramento’s playbook.

        Since you mentioned Meg Ryan, hopefully we won’t hear “Sonicsless in Seattle” for too much longer. Seattle deserves a team, but an expansion team. Don’t be a hypocrite.

    • warhawk71 - Mar 13, 2013 at 12:33 AM

      You are making his point for him. Sorry, but the Sounders aren’t on America’s radar. And how does it matter where Paul Allen got his $$$ if the company isn’t a sponsor, etc.? His pointwas on corporate support. Just having the company in the city does no good if they aren’t sponsoring or otherwise helping out.

    • arenagate2013 - Mar 13, 2013 at 5:51 AM

      The quote on Amazon and Microsoft was from Seattle writer Art Thiel. Now with that out of the way, is he correct or wrong on what he said?

      Theil said, “They (Amazon and Microsoft) don’t buy the suites, they don’t do the sponsorships at least at the same degree as you find elsewhere with Fortune 500 companies.”

      So I ask you, is Thiel correct or incorrect?

      I will also ask you this, why didn’t Steve Ballmer step up when the Sonics were sold to Clay Bennett? Howard Schultz could have easily sold it to Ballmer and other local investors to keep the team in Seattle. Once it was sold to Bennett, an out of town businessman, the writing was on the wall. Seattle had a chance to save its Sonics, but the political will was not there after Seattle gave LARGE PUBLIC SUBSIDIES to stadiums for the Seahawks and Mariners.

      • Kurt Helin - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:27 AM

        But other Fortune 500 companies do, Sac has none. There is a “yea, but” for every argument you make, every one Seattle makes. But you can’t seem to see it that way.

  2. drake2042 - Mar 9, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    So, the logical conclusion that Sacramento has their #20 TV market “all to themselves” is that the 49ers, A’s, Giants, etc., are not shown in the Sacramento area? That’s nonsense.

    And as said above, Microsoft is a major sponsor of the Sounders, and you can’t move around in the CLink during a Seahawks game without seeing Microsoft ads. Not to mention, there are 8 fortune 500 companies in the Seattle area, and all of them have supported the local sports teams. Totally ludicrous assertion.

    Perhaps PBT shouldn’t be using a Sacramento local for the Seattle/Sacramento stories. That, or these need to be marked as opinion pieces with a local bias.

    • bradger - Mar 13, 2013 at 1:21 AM

      Actually the Kings do own the market. While it’s true that you can watch A’s, Giants, 49ers and Raiders, they all fall in line behind the Kings. You can find pretty steady Kings talk from October to late June even if they aren’t in the playoffs. No other sport does that in the market. The NBA does own this market without a doubt.
      What really matters is where the fans spend their money and where the business spend their advertising dollars. Local business is not going to spend advertising budget in another city a few hours away if they have no presence there. And there are regional sponsors that cover most of NorCal like Sleep Train for example. So there is local and regional business support.

      No argument that Seattle has the larger corporate base. But I don’t think the bay area teams diminish Sacramento like you think.

    • arenagate2013 - Mar 13, 2013 at 6:40 AM

      drake2042: Don’t forget the Raiders, Warriors and Sharks to name a few but here is one major difference. All of those teams we have listed are Bay Area based teams in Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose. None of them are Sacramento based teams. We are talking about 80 miles one way or 160 miles round trip, if not more depending on where you are coming from and going to.

      Sacramento has just the Kings as their professional sports team. The River Cats are their minor league team.

      • Kurt Helin - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:26 AM

        I know a lot of people in Sacramento, don’t tell me they are not Giants/Raiders fans. There are a lot. And they drive in to go to games and they spend money there.

  3. praetorian12 - Mar 9, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    I didn’t need to read this “story” at all. I saw that Aaron Bruski was the author, and knew it was a shill for Sacramento. Why does PBT let this guy continue to write posts? Or, if they do, why don’t they contain the asterisk disclaimer that this guy is in the bag for Sacramento?

    • dannymac17 - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:37 PM

      All you have to do is click on his name at the top and it will take you where you need to.

      I had no clue who wrote this cause I dont pay that much attention, but I cosign this post.

      • arenagate2013 - Mar 13, 2013 at 6:49 AM

        dannymac17: Yet you paid enough attention to co-sign a post that you never read? That makes a lot of sense, so why bother reading in the first place? I still enjoy reading articles from Adrian Wojnarowski and David Aldridge.

    • sw19womble - Mar 10, 2013 at 8:41 AM

      Before you even read a word of this blog, the accompanying pic – with a grey and tiny half pic of Seattle’s proposed arena right next to a huge, shiny colourful half pic of Sacramento’s planned stadium – says all you need to know about where the author’s loyalties lie.

      I don’t mind biased articles, but at least be honest about where you’re speaking from!

      • arenagate2013 - Mar 13, 2013 at 6:55 AM

        sw19womble: You’re that concerned over a picture? A picture is worth a thousand words but in this case it is the words in the article that matters. Do not concern yourself with the steak sauce and instead worry about the steak.

      • Kurt Helin - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:25 AM

        Arenagate2013, you responded to pretty much every comment on this post. I think he doth protest too much.

  4. itsfinn - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Bruski didn’t mention that, despite Sacramento’s long record of sold out seasons and full attendance, the franchise has never made any money.

    If Hansen/Ballmer were interested in turning a profit they would not have bid 125 million over market value for the Kings.

    • Captain Factorial - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      Not true. Can’t speak to the ’90s, but the franchise was turning a profit for most of the ’00s. Might want to check up on your opinions before stating them as “facts”.

      • warhawk71 - Mar 13, 2013 at 12:35 AM

        The team has been profitable many years. Hard to be profitable when the owners have engaged in a “scorched earth” policy against the city over the past few years though.

    • bradger - Mar 13, 2013 at 1:35 AM

      I don’t believe this is true. Most of the last 14 years the Kings turned a profit. You probably weren’t aware, but from 2000 to 2007 the Kings ticket prices were in the top 5 highest in the NBA. They also were profitable despite having an arena that had very little of the revenue generating opportunities that modern arenas have.

      They only started losing money badly when talk of moving the team became commonplace in the last few years. Don’t confuse the Maloofs other failing business with the Kings profitability. They kept the team because it was the one that made them money. The 100+ million lines of credit arranged by the NBA they took were diverted to prop up their deep in debt casino. They sold off the liquor business for this reason as well.

    • arenagate2013 - Mar 13, 2013 at 7:34 AM

      itsfinn: You’re incorrect. The Kings did make money when it was in the playoffs. For example, in 2002 the Kings made a profit of nearly $4 million.

      In 2004, the Kings “posted a $4 million profit for this fiscal year.” See the link below. I could go on and on but next time use some facts.

      Read more here:

  5. tommychappy0722 - Mar 10, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    Remember when all the fans in Seattle were crying foul over the Sonics leaving? How wrong it was? Now they are clamoring to steal another city’s team when the only thing wrong that city has done is had the worst owners in sports. Hypocrites?

    • warhawk71 - Mar 13, 2013 at 12:37 AM

      Yes, yes they are. Unlike Seattle, Sacramento is putting up a fight when the team looks like it is leaving. Not the fans I am talking about here, but the city itself. Sonics fans are great fans and they deserve a team, just not Sacramento’s.

    • bradger - Mar 13, 2013 at 2:04 AM

      I thought it was wrong that Seattle lost their Sonics. But it is also wrong to assume that Sacramento should lose their team to make up for that wrong doing. Sacramento has supported their team and have done everything the NBA has required for a new arena.

      The NBA owes Seattle an expansion team since they now have an arena in the works. But Sacramento doesn’t deserve to have their team ripped away to make good in Seattle.

    • arenagate2013 - Mar 13, 2013 at 7:44 AM

      tommychappy0722: It was horrible with what happened to Seattle but don’t blame NBA Commissioner David Stern. Don’t blame Clay Bennett. Blame Howard Schultz. He sold the team to an outsider. The writing was on the wall when that happened and the fact there was no political will or public support for a public-private partnership, Seattle sealed its fate. Where was Steve Ballmer when this happened? Why did he allow this to happen? Why didn’t he attempt to buy the Sonics from Schultz?

      Sacramento has shown the political will and has public support for a public-private partnership. As a matter of fact a year ago the city of Sacramento, the NBA, AEG and the Maloofs had an agreement to a non-binding term sheet agreement. Why did the Maloofs back out? Because they’re broke. Case in point is they couldn’t get afford a free arena deal in Virginia Beach and used that as a smoke screen to negotiate with the Hansen-Ballmer group and never negotiated in good faith with Sacramento.

      One good thing about Seattle is they won’t have to deal with the Maloofs, who were much worse than Schultz.

  6. rgod8855 - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    The Sacramento media market size is severely overblown because as a TV market, the area includes Stockton (60 miles south of Sac) and Modesto (90 miles south). These two cities and neighboring communities accounts for more than 500,000 people in that market. I used to live in that area and know for a fact that they identify with the Bay Area teams. Many of them are Warriors fans, not Kings fans. It is a lie to assume the market is a genuine Kings fan base. This is just a product of California geography since Sacramento is an hour’s drive from the Bay Area. Just go 30 miles west on I-80 and their fan base dilutes. Seattle, on the other hand, is well supported in a 60 mile radius for all the teams whether it is Seahawks, Sounders, Mariners, UW Huskies, Storm, or even the second tier hockey team, the Thunderbirds.

    • bradger - Mar 13, 2013 at 1:56 AM

      Well you cherry picked two cities in the market that are lower on median income in the mid $40k. But closer to Sacramento is Pocket area, River Park, Land Park, Roseville, Rocklin, Granite Bay, Folsom, El Dorado Hills. These areas add up to about 300,000 people within 5-20 miles of downtown proper. And better yet, the median income average ranges from $55k to $73k with Granite Bay and it’s 22,000 residents the highest averaging $101k.

      Can you take a guess where a vast majority of Kings season ticket holders? Look at the names I listed above and you probably got it covered. Although I have met a few Stockton residents who were proud to be season ticket holders.

      Also while the closer you get to the bay area, yes it does change. 30 miles seems to be sort of stretch on the claim as I know many fans further out than that. We also have fans that make the trip down for games from 90 miles away in Chico and Reno.

      • Kurt Helin - Mar 14, 2013 at 8:27 PM

        But the same pocket thing is true in Seattle. If you use the federal 2011 county-wide numbers for Sacramento and King counties, Seattle is up like $18K a household. There are a lot of things Sac can argue, but area personal income isn’t a good one.

    • arenagate2013 - Mar 13, 2013 at 7:59 AM

      rgod8855: So Stockton and Modesto identify with the Warriors more than the Kings? More are Warriors fans than Kings fans? Was it like that when the Kings first moved to Sacramento? Was it like that when the Kings were known as the “Greatest Show on Court” and the Warriors were lottery bound?

      Sacramento is not an hour’s drive to Oakland. State the facts. Try approximately 80 miles or 90 minutes, give or take depending on where you’re coming from and traffic.

      Seattle’s teams are more supported as you said because the nearest NBA team to them is Portland is approximately 174 miles ONE WAY or about 2 hours and 45 minutes. Where are the closest MLB and NFL teams to Seattle?

      Seattle to Portland s twice the trip length of Sacramento to Oakland.

      The Kings had sold out 20 of 23 seasons until they stopped making the playoffs as the Maloofs began to cut salary and got virtually nothing in return to make the team talent any better.

      Plus the Maloofs killed Measures Q&R without supporting it and had their Carl’s Jr. commercial with their $6,000 burger combo meal.

      Your arguments are weak.

  7. spideysdog - Mar 10, 2013 at 5:11 AM

    great nonstop Aaron. you missed probably the BIGGEST comparison point of the whole issue. The National Basketball Association had never turned down the sale of one of its franchises, that has been agreed upon by BOTH parties to “overly qualified” ownership.

    Belittle the point if you like, but if you don’t think that every one of the fat cats sitting in that Board of Governors meeting understands and fears the precedent they would set by doing it, then you’re nieve.

    The very last thing that ANY of these owners want is the league deciding to whom they can broker sales to.

    • warhawk71 - Mar 13, 2013 at 12:40 AM

      The NBA has never encountered a situation like this where the team engaged in a “scorched earth” policy with the city because the owners wanted to bail for somewhere they can sell the team for more money. Sacramento has supported it’s team with record sellouts (something Seattle hasn’t done) and is actually fighting to keep the team. The city of Seattle (NOT the fans, mind you) never did the same.

    • arenagate2013 - Mar 13, 2013 at 8:20 AM

      spideysdog: Why would it matter who a team ownership group sells to as long as they get their money? Money from Seattle is the same from Sacramento, right? Money is money isn’t it?

      • Kurt Helin - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:19 AM

        You think owner want to tie their hands on who they can sell to? If Sac wins the league will approve the sale but scuttle the relocation, which will effectively kill the sale without voting the sale itself down.

  8. seahonky - Mar 10, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    I guess I don’t understand the tv market issue. The Seahawks only play on Sundays in the fall, the Mariners play in the spring and summer, and the NBA play in the winter. How is this a conflict? Also, you forgot to mention Boeing. The team has been sold. Move on.

    • Captain Factorial - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      The sale is not final until the NBA says it’s final. Buckle up.

      • warhawk71 - Mar 13, 2013 at 12:42 AM

        That should be “Burkle” up. The team is staying. The NBA is actively working with Sacramento (and has been for years) to be able to get rid of the Maloofs and get a new arena deal with owners that can actually afford a team.

    • arenagate2013 - Mar 13, 2013 at 8:22 AM

      seahonky: There is a binding agreement between the Hansen-Ballmer group and Maloofs, but the Kings have not been officially sold. That is up to the NBA to decide.

  9. liddogg33 - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    So funny. All of you have taken the words out of my mouth. Aaron bruski your a TOTAL JOKE!! Your biased commentary is becoming so blatantly obvious. How can you continue to put out such pro Sacrememnto propaganda and call yourself a journalist. All I did was see your name at the top and scroll down to the comments!! You sir are what gives journalism a terrible name. Your articles are funny punch lines!! Get a life man. Understand no matter which way you spin it come April this little game is over and afterwards the only sport left for you to cover will be the cows out in the empty pastures of Sacramento. YOUR NOT FOOLING ANYONE AARON!!!!

  10. jattsoorma - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    man these seattle trolls are everywhere, if your so convinced that seattle is better and has this in the bag then why are you trolling so hard? a little worried maybe?

    also i notice in your criticisms of Aaron that you guys all go after him being “biased” yet none of you can provide a counter argument towards any of his facts and figures he presents when comparing market viability, attendance was better in sacramento than in seattle up until 2008 when seattle lost its team, thats a huge factor and one no one can refute.

    • dans761 - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:35 PM

      I can provide plenty of counter-arguments but its pointless because people like you will say my arguments don’t count blah blah blah. Its pointless to argue with a Queens fan on here and everyone in Seattle knows it

    • dans761 - Mar 10, 2013 at 4:01 PM

      Heres a article from a Sonics blog on Brusci’s writing style on this whole topic

      “So first let me say that Aaron Bruski does not deserve to have NBC anywhere near his title. I can deal with the fact that he is a homer because, lets face it, I’m a homer too. What I can’t deal with is the fact that he’s a sloppy journalist who cherrypicks quotes and regularly incorporates unattributed statements as a basis for his articles without looking for any verification or outside expert opinion. Is there any doubt that each and every time he says “sources close to the situation” he is just regurgitating what he is being told to say by members of Kevin Johnsons staff? If you are going to claim to be a journalist then you should have jouralistic standards. The dude is something between a blogger and a stooge. Its annoying. ”

      • dans761 - Mar 10, 2013 at 4:03 PM

        I think we can accept opinions on here, but opinions based on half truths and not the real complete facts pisses me off.

      • arenagate2013 - Mar 13, 2013 at 8:54 AM

        dans761: So will you say the same about David Aldridge and Adrian Wojnarowski, who are clearly regurgitating what Seattle’s camp is saying?

        Do not forget that Aldridge said the Kings to Seattle has a clear path (it is not as Sacramento is still in it) and it is up to the Maloofs to decide who to sell the Kings to (it is not as David Stern said that is up to the BOG) and Wojnarowski said the Kings to Seattle was at a first and goal at the one yard line (sounds like a fumble to me).

      • Kurt Helin - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:16 AM

        Aldridge on Monday did a very balanced story at, for the record. As he said, whatever point either side makes the other side has a legitimate “yea, but” response.

    • liddogg33 - Mar 10, 2013 at 5:04 PM

      If you knew anything at all you would realize how completely ignorant you look. Facts?? I have plenty !! It’s “mr sacremento” Aaron bruski that is completly FACTLESS!! To say that the sacremento market is close to seattles based on the fact that seattle has other professional franchises is simply ridiculous. Seattle is a BOOMING METROPOLITAN CITY!!! The more professional franchises the better!! It is home to the greatest fans in the world in the greatest sports in the world!! It’s home to an NBA CHAMPIONSHIP!!! In all fairness it’s not fair to even try to put sacremento in the same class as seattle. Just look at the difference between the two groups fighting to buy the kings. On one hand you have the CEO of one of the largest and most profitable companies in the world and a hedge fund manager who’s collective worth eclipses 18 billion dollars. The second group is a couple of well to do business men with net worths in the maybe 1 billion dollar range. Throw in the fact that group “a” has a binding legal purchase and sale agreement to purchase the team as well as an agreement with the city (an agreement which has taken over 2 years to reech)to build a world class arena in a world lass city!!! Face it boys, it’s not just the cities you are up against!!! Seattles offer as a collective whole is just way better then anything the team of Johnson burkle and mastrov could ever muster up. Sorry to say but it’s only a matter of time before you will have to face the facts, the kings are gone man, GONE!!!

      • warhawk71 - Mar 13, 2013 at 12:46 AM

        OK, I am not making this out to be Sac fans vs. Seattle fans, but you brought it up.

        Maybe you should try selling out your arena more often then, you know, back when you had the Sonics? You know, like Sacramento did for 19 years? When our team generally sucked? We still showed up and packed the house, year after year.



    • arenagate2013 - Mar 13, 2013 at 8:29 AM

      jattsoorma: Anyone can state their opinions, but it all comes down to cold hard facts.

      I recall David Aldridge saying Seattle had a clear path to getting the Kings and Adrian Wojnarowski saying it was first and goal at the one yard line. Since then they have backpedaled and the momentum is clearly on the side of Sacramento.

      In other words, both Aldridge and Wojnarowski were wrong in their reporting to get their stories out first and it is clear as day their sources are inside the Seattle camp.

      However, nothing is set in stone for the Kings to remain or move. That will be decided very soon.

  11. dans761 - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Was going to read this until I saw Brusci wrote it. Why have a Sacrmaento based writer who’s associated with the Kings write crap like this? Its like Howard Schultz writing an article comparing Starbucks to Tully’s. Its a joke! This is NBC a national publication, not SacramentoBasketballTalk


    • Captain Factorial - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      So, you didn’t read it, but you called it “crap” anyway?

    • arenagate2013 - Mar 13, 2013 at 8:32 AM

      So you did not read the article?

      So you are saying that both Adrian Wojnarowski and David Aldridge are not biased in their reports?

      Truth is both Wojnarowski and Aldridge reported the Kings to Seattle was a done deal and we can all clearly see it is not and Sacramento is very much alive in this story.

      • Kurt Helin - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:17 AM

        At the start of this process it looked a lot like that from a national perspective because there was no alternative together yet from Sacramento.

  12. David S. - Mar 10, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    How can you compare the ownership groups and put Burkle in the mix? Isn’t he just on the arena side and Mastrov is on the ownership side? If that’s truly the case there’s no comparison. Burkle will have to join the ownership group which will muddy the waters due to the Maloof’s and Burkle’s checkered past.

    • Kurt Helin - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:52 PM

      Burkle is in the ownership group but in a minority role. He is primarily in the arena deal. The percentages on all this are not public.

    • warhawk71 - Mar 13, 2013 at 12:50 AM

      Um, you should get some facts on the topic before posting.

      Mastrov will lead the team purchase effort, Burkle the arena effort. But they are a team and working together on both.

      If the brothers Maloof will be getting their millions, they don’t care where it comes from. They are upset because KJ was exposing them for the financial frauds they are. They get along with Mastrov just fine.

      • Kurt Helin - Mar 14, 2013 at 8:29 PM

        I think saying the Maloofs don’t “care” isn’t correct or they would have sold to Burkle, making life easier. They just don’t have the leverage to say no if the league rejects team relocation.

    • bradger - Mar 13, 2013 at 2:10 AM

      Burkle does have an investment in the team as well. They are just downplaying the role because the Maloofs made statements about never selling to Burkle after he had the audacity to want to buy the team when the Maloofs tried to move to Anaheim. It’s a face saving move.

      Just like during KJ’s recent speech he had everyone stand up and give the Maloofs a hand for their time spent in Sacramento. Nobody liked it, but we give them polite applause.

    • arenagate2013 - Mar 13, 2013 at 8:38 AM

      The only people who have a checkered past are the Maloofs, who did not negotiate in good faith with Sacramento. It sounds like they did not want to sell the team to a Sacramento group out of spite. Could it be because they were denied a relocation to Anaheim therefore losing their Palms Casino? Remember the Maloofs knew the NBA would not allow a third team into the Los Angeles market where Anaheim is a part of, like it or not. That was early May 2011. By mid June 2011, the Maloofs lost controlling interest in the Palms Casino. Yup, sounds out of spite to me.

      Mastrov and Burkle are a part of the ownership group.

      “Johnson said Burkle would be the driving force behind the arena plan, while Mastrov would lead the charge on the bid for the Kings. Sources said both men would contribute financially to both the arena and the team acquisition.”

      Read more here:

  13. wlouden77 - Mar 10, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    There are 2 major hurdles to Seattle getting the Kings… One is the 7 percent that is part o a bankruptcy court. The other is the fact that the minority owners have it in their ownership contracts that they get the right to match any potential offer. They have already secured representation and will proceed legally against the Maloofs and even the NBA if the right to match is not offered.

    Also, it does not make alot of sense for the NBA to allow the Kings to move to a city that already lost a team due to lack of city support. Especially since last year the city of Sacramento had an agreement in place for a new arena for the Maloofs, one they wanted, only to see the Maloofs back out last second when everything was due to be signed.

    • warhawk71 - Mar 13, 2013 at 12:52 AM

      Exactly. The NBA has been trying to get an arena deal done in Sac for YEARS, with the Maloofs as the only significant barrier. Now that they will be out of the picture, no reason this can’t get done and Sacramento can keep the team for decades to come.

  14. seahonky - Mar 10, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    I guess Boeing is a “bit” player too…I guess I don’t understand the tv market share either. The Sonics are going to compete with the Seahawks and Mariners in the winter?

  15. midwestwarrior - Mar 10, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    i dont understand why sacramento even needs a team when the warriors play about 70 miles away, they act like its the end all of everything, yet they have an instate NBA team 70 miles away and im sure everybody in sacramento pulls for oakland or sf in football and baseball etc, so why not pull for the NBA team there too. they need to quit crying , at least they have another team to follow if they do move regardless

    • warhawk71 - Mar 13, 2013 at 12:54 AM

      And you have the Trailblazers right down the road a bit. Are you going to their games after the Sonics left? No? Why not? They aren’t THAT far away…..just a couple hours down I-5.

    • bradger - Mar 13, 2013 at 2:16 AM

      Are you serious? I was never a Warriors fan back in the 1970s. The Warriors are hated in Sacramento second only to the Lakers.

      I’m not sure where you got 70 miles from. From my house a few miles north of Sac, it’s 105 miles for me. And with the usual horrible traffic, that’s about 2.5 hours away most days.

      I could just as easily ask Seattle why they don’t just become Blazer fans and drive to Portland? I’m sure every reason why you wouldn’t, goes for us as well.

    • arenagate2013 - Mar 13, 2013 at 8:42 AM

      midwestwarrior: Why should Sacramento change its loyalty to a Bay Area team when they had one to call their very own for 28 years?

      That is like asking Sonics fans to cheer for the Trailblazers. Seattle deserves an NBA team, but not the Kings. The Kings belong to Sacramento. An expansion team would be the best thing to do for Seattle. Also, Seattle should have never lost its Sonics.

  16. mycrazyexperiences - Mar 30, 2013 at 4:15 AM

    Comparing markets? This article should of focused more on the potential of broadcasting rights as this is where the NBA is heading. We have seen TimeWarnerCable pay $3 Billion for the exclusive right to broadcast Lakers games on their network for the next 20 years and while I have a hard time seeing Seattle land a Billion dollar deal with a TimeWarnerCable type, I see them getting more money for those rights than Sacramento. What surprised me was when I heard that the Kings sold their highest priced piece of sponsorship inventory, naming rights, to an employee owned Mattress retailer at a very low cost, less than $1 million per year. To put it in perspective, the Seattle Sounders (MLS) sold their jersey rights, Sounders highest priced inventory, to one of Microsoft’s brands XBOX 360 LIVE for $5 million per year for 4 years.

    What Sacramento does have in its corner is its loyal fan base. 19 sellout season in the past 20 something years. That’s just amazing. Unfortunately, ticket sales are a small fraction of the revenue vs TV rights & Sponsorship sales.

    I feel bad for the Kings fans because I don’t see this decision being in Sacramento’s favor. I felt the league should have awarded Oklahoma City with the Hornets post Hurricane Katrina and in return, allowing the city of New Orleans to host the All Star game for the next 5 years. If the NBA would have made that decision, the Sonics, with 40 years of history in Seattle, would have never left and Sacramento would be keeping their team…for now.

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