A new city has emerged as a possible destination for the Sacramento Kings, and the formal announcement could come next week according to some published reports.
The office of the Mayor of Virginia Beach confirmed to FOX40 a basketball team is moving to their coastal city. While the mayor’s office could not confirm which team is moving, a source within the administration has told local outlets it is the Sacramento Kings.
The Hampton Roads Business Journal is going so far as to report not only are the Kings moving to Virginia Beach, but the official announcement could come next week with the Maloof family on-hand. The article goes on to say the media company Comcast is a possible partner to build a new arena.
The Maloofs are reported to be heading out East to propose moving their NBA team to city officials.
However, FOX40’s Sports Director, Jim Crandell asked Maloof spokesman Troy Hanson about the Virginia Beach rumors, he said the move is “not happening”.
The Kings organization released a statement Thursday afternoon that reads, “The Kings organization over the last several years has been approached by numerous parties and cities interested in buying and relocating the franchise. The franchise is not going to discuss which cities have approached the organization and are not going to comment on every rumor. The sole focus of everyone within the Sacramento Kings organization continues to be to put a winning team on the court as we look forward to what promises to be an exciting 2012-13 NBA season.”
A deal to keep the Kings in Sacramento crumbled earlier this year.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is unavailable for comment right now because he is in transit. Mayor Johnson attended the Obama Classic, a basketball-themed event held in New York City Wednesday.
Virginia Beach Mayor William Sessoms said Thursday that he couldn't confirm anything about the Kings.
He did, however, confirm other details about his city's arena situation.
"I can confirm that Comcast Spectacore, which used to own the Philadelphia 76ers, has stated clearly that they would guarantee a professional team if we move forward (with the arena deal)," Sessoms said. "They've indicated to me that this building would generate enough revenue on its own to cover the debt service that would be required by the city."
Sessoms suggested that Comcast Spectacore could either come back with an NBA or NHL team.