SACRAMENTO, CA - Cheers roared from the Seattle City Council chambers Monday night as the council voted to move forward with building a new arena near the city's port.
It was great news for Seattle but potentially bad news for Sacramento.
San Francisco hedge fund manager Chris Hansen is fronting most of the cash for the Seattle project. The arena will cost $490 million. But first, Hansen needs a sports team. At least one observer who's studied the situation believes he's eyeing the Sacramento Kings.
"We've been there, we know what you're going through, we feel your pain," said David Goldstein, a writer for a Seattle-based news website.
He believes without the Kings' making much of a profit, Sacramento is the target.
Also, the owners of the Kings, the Maloof family, no longer have revenues from their beer distributorship and they've lost controlling stakes of The Palms, a casino resort in Las Vegas.
"When you ask Hansen directly, he won't speak specifically about any teams," Goldstein said. "But he's clearly in a rush. He's made it clear that he feels there's an opportunity to get a team, and when you look around, I think Sacramento is the obvious target."
Seattle wants the new team to start playing in Key Arena next season.
"I don't see another team that looks like they're immediately available," Goldstein said. "And the idea is to get moving on this arena pretty soon, and get a team in the city, in Key Arena, by next season."
By Nick Monacelli, firstname.lastname@example.org