Saturday, April 20, 2013

Oh, Please, Just Decide Already

Sacramentans are being treated to the continuing saga of the Kings. They've been treated to this for years, so much so that it's likely that my reaction is shared by the vast majority of my fellows.

But the NBA has a problem.  A big one.  In the great scheme of things, Seattle should be the obvious choice.  Ben Stein says so, and I'm inclined to agree with him.  Stein noted that Seattle was a much better choice, as that city is a "powerhouse," while Sacramento is simply a very nice town. (One might argue with that, but it's not important to my point.) So why is the NBA dragging this out?

It's simple.  Seattle's arena deal requires that the owners put in a lot more money, and that Seattle not only put in less, but make money off the deal. Seattle has been burned before, and the voters responded with I-91, which requires that any sports' complex deal guarantee a profit for the taxpayers.  Sacramento's deal gives away the store.  Not only won't the city make money, the city may be on the hook for the bonds if the income projections don't pan out.

So on the one hand, Seattle is a much more desirable choice.  But the Sacramento precedent is one that the NBA owners want to set--cities that want teams, or want to keep teams, should be willing to pay handsomely for the privilege.  And if they aren't, even a "powerhouse" city won't get a team.

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