The Sacramento Kings NBA basketball team is considering a move to Virginia Beach, according to a published report.
Norfolk-based Inside Business reports that the Kings’ owners, the Maloof family, will be in Virginia Beach next Tuesday to discuss relocating team.
The business journal’s sister publication, The Virginian-Pilot, said a top executive from Comcast-Spectator, the owner of the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team and the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, will make a presentation to Virginia Beach City Council on Tuesday about building an 18,000-seat arena near the city’s oceanfront.
Both publications quote Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms as saying that, if the arena deal goes through, the company has promised to bring a professional sports team to town.
Two other companies reportedly involved in the arena proposal are Global Spectrum, a venue management company that is a subsidiary of Comcast-Spectator, and Live Nation, an entertainment company.
Inside Business said Comcast-Spectator would take a 25-year lease on a new arena, taking naming rights and broadcasting Kings’ games. The new venue would be built across from the Virginia Beach Convention Center and financed in part by a $1 increase in the city’s lodging tax.
City officials and the Maloof family are expected to announce Wednesday that the Kings will come to Virginia Beach, Inside Business said.
The Kings’ future in Sacramento has been in question since the city’s plans for a new, $391 million arena fell apart in April.
In response to the Inside Business report, Kings’ spokesman Eric Rose told USA Today, “The Kings have been approached by numerous cities interested [in] buying the team and relocating it. We are not going to discuss which cities have approached the team and are not going to comment on every rumor.“
Kings’ co-owner Joe Maloof told the newspaper, “We haven’t talked to Virginia Beach.“
NBA spokesman Mike Bass told a USA Today reporter, “We have no information from the Kings on this matter and there has been no application for relocation.“
Matt Brooks of the Washington Post questioned the wisdom of such a move, noting that Virginia Beach has a smaller media market than Sacramento.