Report: Sacramento Kings looking at Virginia Beach as possible new home
The Virginia Beach area could become the new home for the Sacramento Kings NBA franchise, according to a report from the Hampton Roads Business Journal.
The Business Journal and The Virginian-Pilot report that officials from the Kings and Comcast will meet with the Virginia Beach City Council next Tuesday to discuss the construction of a new arena in the city.
Comcast and the team would reportedly guarantee a 25-year lease on any new arena for the Kings, who have been owned by the Maloof family since 1996. The franchise, which has played its games in Sacramento since 1985, have been eyeing relocation options after multiple attempts to build a new arena in California's capital failed.
The most recent one, a proposed arena and entertainment complex costing nearly $400 million, led to a nasty falling out between the team's owners and Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson.
When reached for comment by CBS 13 in Sacramento, though, Joe Maloof said that he has not engaged in discussions with the coastal city. A team spokesman was not as blunt, saying that the franchise had been "approached by numerous cities interested in buying the team and relocating it."
Financing for a new arena in Virginia Beach would come from a $1 increase in the city's lodging tax, the Business Journal says.
The Kings are one of the NBA's most transient franchises, having called five different cities home since entering the league as the Rochester Royals in 1945. Since then, the team has played its home games in Cincinnati, Kansas City and Omaha before settling in Northern California.
Power Balance Pavilion, which opened in 1988, has long been called inadequate by the Kings' owners. The Maloofs nearly moved the franchise to Anaheim, Calif.'s Honda Center before the 2011-2012 season, but the team was saved at the 11th hour in a last ditch attempt by Sacramento officials to forge an arena agreement.
Proposals for the new arena see it being built across from the existing Virginia Beach Convention Center.