The Kings have left the building

We’ll have more on the playoffs shortly. Devin wanted to look at a team not in the playoffs that could really use some advice.

Sometimes it's just over.

It’s time to move on, Sacramento.

Now that it seems likely that the Sacramento Kings will be moving to another city in the near future, perhaps it’s time to reflect on how much the Kings have cost Sacramentans. Recently, Sacramento area journalist Dan Aiello did just that, starting with the circumstances surrounding the Kings’ arrival in Sacramento:

When Gregg Lukenbill and other investors bought the Kansas City Kings NBA franchise in the early 1980’s it wasn’t for the love of the game.

Lukenbill, a Sacramento developer who had purchased cheap flood plain acreage in the Natomas basin, wanted to develop his property in the same suburban sprawl fashion as East of the downtown. But Sacramento’s last citizen mayor, Anne Rudin, who believed in a strong downtown city core and despised the disjointed tract developments of Los Angeles and San Jose, had attained a majority of council members who agreed with her, that Natomas’ flood plain status precluded the area from development.

The majority of Sacramentans agreed with their mayor. This one was a no-brainer.  Afterall, on the map the area where Lukenbill owned land was called “The Natomas Basin.”  It didn’t get more obvious than that.

Enter the Kings.

Sacramentans have long resented their city’s second class status to the San Francisco Bay Area and were eager to gain a national sports franchise for years. Prior to the Kings arrival in 1983-84 for exhibition games and permanently for the 1985 season, there was much talk of building a baseball stadium in hopes of luring a national franchise like the Oakland A’s to the valley town.

Lukenbill shrewdly purchased the Kings in a thinly-veiled political maneuver to circumvent Rudin’s lock on the council, telling his fellow citizens of the Capitol City that he’d love to bring the Kings west, if only he could. You see, he spun, the only logical place for an arena was the Natomas basin and the council refused to let him build one.

Aiello goes on to talk about the recent attempt by the Maloofs to secure public money for their private business, in addition to how the development of the Natomas basin affected the city. You can get the rest of the article here; I recommend it.

It’s important to remember that, despite the investment of millions of public dollars, sports don’t help out local economies. The evidence is so clear that 85% of economists agree that local and state governments should not support professional sports. Residents of Sacramento should feel lucky enough that the Maloofs asked for so much public money that their city officials walked away from the bargaining table.

-Devin