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Sacramento Arena term sheet thoughts…

Everyone should know by now that a prerequisite to Seattle getting an NHL team is getting an NBA team. Hence the focus on the Sacramento Kings situation. As you may or may not know, Kevin Johnson announced that he had come to terms on a new arena deal with prospective owners of the Sacramento Kings. The prospective owners are a backup option, shouldBGFEHO_CQAAT-xm the NBA reject the Hansen/Ballmer deal.

The term sheet will need to be approved by the Sacramento City Council tomorrow, March 26th so that KJ can give notice to the NBA Board of Governors who will be meeting on April 3rd in New York City in what will be a plea to reject the Hansen bid in favor of keeping the team in Sacramento. If the NBA BOG rejects the Hansen/Ballmer deal, the desire will be for the Maloofs to sell the Kings to this backup ownership group of Ron Burkle, Mark Mastrov, and Vivek Ranadive.

I expect nothing less than a rubber stamp on this thing tomorrow as the Sacramento City Council seems to be going with whatever the mayor puts together, with only a few skeptics. This is a Non-binding agreement so if there are any city council members that really oppose the public money being offered up in this term sheet, they can object to it later. Objecting now would be bad PR for the representative considering there is still a good chance the Seattle Deal goes through. How Sacramento decides to fund this proposal is entirely up to them. I am not a tax payer or a voter in the Sacramento area so how the people decide view this proposal is entirely up to them. If you want one perspective, try checking out the Field of Schemes assessment. Usually the comments section provides some good incite but the visibility of this thing has brought out the best the internet has to offer (sarcasm).

People in Seattle still see to think the odds are in their favor and all of this was expected. People in Sac are feeling very confident right now so hard for me to get an accurate read one way or another.

Seems like Michael McCann is giving the nod to Seattle

but acknowledges that it isn’t as clear as it looked several weeks ago:

@northwestsports @wyatt_goodtimes But fact that arena deal from SAC appears to be so generous could mean they keep team. Could be worth it.

— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) March 26, 2013

On a more local note, regardless what happens here, I am thankful for the Seattle City Council and King County Council’s due diligence to the SoDo Proposal. Our process took 9 months and they gathered public opinion and had several reviews of the proposal. I saw several financial reviews scrutinizing a lot of the assumptions in the Hansen plan. It was frustrating at times but in the end very enlightening to the process. Given the magnitude of the proposal it makes sense to be careful and thorough when evaluating the proposal.

Couple more comments and some questions I don’t have the answers to:

  1. There is still a threat of a potential lawsuit by political watchdog group in Sacramento that the term sheet violates gifting policy.
  2. Will the NBA view this non-binding deal as good enough to cover the arena plan for Sacramento?
  3. Does the BMR deal for the actual team need to match the Hansen deal? I believe the answer is yes but I don’t know if it will.
  4. What kind of leverage will the NBA/Sacramento have on forcing the Maloofs to sell to the Burkle, Mastrov and Ranadive should the BOG reject the pending sale of the Kings to Hansen/Ballmer?
  5. Could the Hansen/Ballmer offer go higher and what are the impacts?
John Barr
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