Orange County Business Journal

Kings Set to Skip Anaheim, Stay in Sacramento

Chris Casacchia Monday, February 27, 2012

It looks as though Henry Samueli and Orange County will have to wait for another opportunity to land a professional basketball team.

The National Basketball Association’s Sacramento Kings struck a tentative deal on Feb. 27 with its keep the franchise there, rebuffing advances made by investor groups led by Samueli−the cofounder of Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp.−and other potential suitors.

“There is a framework for the deal,” NBA spokesperson Michael Bass said.

The news, announced by Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof, would seem to end a year of speculation about the team’s home.

The Maloofs−who run the annual Maloof Money Cup skateboarding contest in Orange County− will invest more than $70 million in a new arena in Sacramento and “probably another $75 million over the term of the agreement,” according to the Sacramento Bee.

Los Angeles-based stadium developer and operator Anschutz Entertainment Group, or AEG, also is expected to put money into the new stadium.

Landing a basketball team has been a goal of Anaheim and Samueli, who owns the National Hockey League's Anaheim Ducks but calls basketball his favorite sport.

Samueli, who also owns the company that runs the city-owned Honda Center, had offered to increase a personal loan to the Kings from $50 million to $75 million and offered to buy a part of the team if the Maloofs relocated the franchise to Orange County.

The NBA had set a March 1 deadline for the Kings and Sacramento officials to work out a deal to keep the team in state's capital city.