Just what Southern California needs, another reason for more traffic… according to this story in the OC Register, the Mayor of Anaheim made his first comments regarding the Sacramento Kings rumored move to Southern Cali. Here are the details:
In the first public comments from a city official on the Sacramento Kings’ potential move to Anaheim, Mayor Tom Tait confirmed Tuesday night that negotiations are ongoing and Anaheim is “closer” to having a professional basketball team. “The good news is that we are continuing to move closer to bringing a professional basketball team to Anaheim,” Tait said. “Because there are ongoing discussions and negotiations, I have just a few details to share tonight. More information will be forthcoming in the next week or so.”
Owners of the Kings have been in talks with Anaheim Arena Management, which operates Honda Center, about the possibility of moving to Anaheim for the 2011-12 season. The city owns Honda Center but until now, Anaheim officials have kept silent on the talks.
Tait said that no taxpayer money would be used to lure the Kings.
“First, I can tell you that a financing structure is being proposed that would allow for private investment to fund improvements at Honda Center,” Tait said. “Our city is a first-class destination. Adding a second professional sports team at Honda Center is very exciting, as long as the city and the taxpayers are protected. And they will be.”
I can’t argue that Anaheim and the Honda Center would be a good destination for a pro basketball team. A few years ago I hoped the Clippers would move into the city as to establish their own identity in their own arena (I AM a Clippers fan, btw.) But in this whole ordeal I have to feel sorry for the Kings fans in Sacramento. They have always been loyal to their team, win or lose, but the Maloofs have been looking to move the franchise for years now as there have been no plans for a much-needed new arena in Sacramento. First it was Vegas, now Anaheim.
The move is more factual that rumor as the Kings filed trademarks for the names Anaheim Royals, Anaheim Royals of Southern California, Orange County Royals and Los Angeles Royals. The team would need a name change as the “Anaheim Kings” is taken by a minor league hockey team and of course Los Angeles’ professional hockey franchise. My vote would go to the Anaheim Royals. No more of that “Los Angeles _____ of Anaheim or OC” nonsense.
There is one good thing out of this move; hoops fans that don’t want to spring for tickets at Staples can head about 20 miles down the 5-south and watch Demarcus Cousins spaz out for a few games a season. I’d pay to see that a time or two.