Sacramento Kings Relocation Saga

A Timeline of the Kings (Probable) Decent Into Seattle

Editors Note: This is a timeline of the events that have led the Maloof brothers to negotiating with Chris Hansen’s Ownership Group. I was perusing a Sacramento Kings’s blog and decided to see if anyone was willing to write a post about the Kings under the Maloofs. Fortunately Nate Hughart (author at Evil Clowntown, Inc.) offered to write the post; that was before the rumors of the Maloofs selling to Hansen’s group leaked out. But Nate stepped up and still wrote this timeline for us, thanks Nate.

By Nate Hughart:

1997: The City of Sacramento and Jim Thomas (the previous owner to the Maloofs) agree to a 70 million dollar loan.

1998: The Maloofs buy minority ownership in Thomas’ group with an agreement for majority ownership within 5 years.

July 1999: The Maloofs become majority owners after agreeing to buy the team. The Maloofs end up buying the team at two different times; the first in 1999 and the second in 2002.

2002: An article is published stating that the Maloofs are losing money on the Kings.

2002-04:  The Maloofs and the City of Sacramento have discussions, but once the Maloofs storm out of a city council meeting in 2004.

2006: There is a measure put on the ballot by the City and County of Sacramento (Q&R) to fund a public arena for the Kings. The Maloofs pull out about 6 weeks before the vote is going to happen, and the measure loses 80-20. Most remember the infamous youtube commercial with the Maloofs eating a burger from Carl’s Jr claiming it was a 6000$ meal. Their net worth in the commercial is touted as a billion dollars, and this starts the Maloofs going downhill.

2007: Announcement by the Maloofs and the NBA that the Maloofs have turned over all negotiations to the NBA to handle from then on. The NBA then starts the eventual land swap plan which subsequently dies in 3 years.

2008: Financial downturn hits the Las Vegas, Sacramento and numerous other markets around the US rather hard

2009: Maloofs sell their lynchpin family business, a Coors distributorship with the exclusive rights to sell Coors throughout the state of New Mexico, in part because of a crushing debt on the Palms March

2011: The Maloofs attempt to file for relocation to Anaheim but are instead offered a delayed date to file for relocation on May 1st 2011.

May 1st 2011: The Maloofs “choose” to not file for relocation for the stated reason that “they wanted to give Sacramento another chance.”

July 1st 2011: Due to the crushing debt of the Palms, the Maloofs end up turning control of the Palms casino to creditors with a remaining 2% ownership stake after the assumption of debt by creditors purchasing the casino. 2% jokes have become a staple of longtime Kings fans following the saga ever since.

May 2011: Think Big Sacramento is formed to create a think tank for ideas to create a new arena in the Downtown Sacramento rail yards.

Sep 6 2011- Dec 13 2011: The Nexus Report on Sept 6th is presented as options that the council could take to fund a new arena project in Sacramento. Think Big Sacramento finally presents its findings to the Sacramento City Council essentially telling the council that the best way to fund a plan is through selling and/or leasing the parking.

February 6th 2012: Sandy Sheedy, the now departed councilwoman from District 2, files a motion to make the vote of monetizing an asset up to the public. The motion loses 5-4 and would have killed the arena discussions outright had it gone to a public vote.

NBA All-Star weekend (late February) 2012: The City of Sacramento, AEG (the arena operator who also incidentally operates Key Arena), and the NBA agree upon a tentative deal (a term sheet) to be brought to the city council of Sacramento on March 6th. March 6th: The Sacramento City Council approves the measure 7-2 with Sheedy and current District 6 councilman Kevin McCarty offering a “nay” vote.

March 8th: Pictures of Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, Gavin Maloof and Joe Maloof holding hands raised high happens before the contest between the Kings and the New Orleans Hornets. Tacoma native and UW alum Isaiah Thomas steals the ball at the end of the game to steal a victory from the Hornets.

April 13th: After several weeks of grumbling about pre-develoment costs, George Maloof holds an infamous press conference in New York claiming that he is a “developer” and we, the public, should “trust him.” Ask Kings fans how much they trust  George Maloof these days.

April 13th: David Stern in his own press conference later that day reveals that not only were the Maloofs not having to give any money up front, but that the NBA would front the money to the Maloofs along with a 7 million dollar gift.

April 14th 2012 to January 9th 2013: Marking time with pointless ideas about renovating Sleep Train Arena that no-one (including the City of Sacramento, NBA or the Maloofs for that matter) believes in.

January 9th 2013: Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports! tweets that there is a tentative agreement between the Hansen-Ballmer group and the Maloof family for the purchase of the Kings franchise for 500 million dollars.