I watched the news conference in which Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson announced some of the partners for a local ownership group he is assembling to bid on the Sacramento Kings and keep the team in the Capitol City instead of moving to Seattle. The number being tossed around for the value of the franchise is $525 million.
That is a huge number as it would exceed the most recent Forbes evaluation for the NBA franchise by more than 70 percent. And of course the Kings increased value, would inflate the value of the other NBA franchises in the same manner that a comparable house in your neighborhood selling for much more than what you paid for your house.
And if the Kings are worth $525 million, then what would the Los Angeles Lakers be worth? That same Forbes list has the Lakers valued at $900 million. Add a 70 percent premium to that number and you’re talking $1.5 billion.
Really, this is going to boil down to money and who has the most to offer in both cash and arena revenue. For the Sacramento contingent’s bid to be successful it is going to have to come up with a deal similar to the one put together by the Seattle group and also provide plans for a new arena.
Just because the Maloof family has reached an agreement with the Seattle group does not mean this deal is done and the team is leaving. The Maloofs filed relocation papers with the league to move to Anaheim following the 2011 season. They even filed a trademark for the name Anaheim Royals.
Those hoping the team stays need to look no further than the San Francisco Giants. The team came close to moving to Toronto in 1976 and Florida in 1992. Both times a local buyer stepped in to purchase the Giants. The franchise stayed put and has won two World Series titles since.