The city of Sacramento and the Kings have come from behind for what looked like an improbably victory in their fight to keep the team in Sacramaento. As the Sacramento Bee reports, they have reached the framework of a deal to build an arena and keep the Kings in Sacramento. This new deal could act as a blueprint by which the city of Oakland eventually gets a deal done for a new coliseum.
Co-owner of the Kings, George Maloof, has pledged to put in "close to $75 million upfront, probably another $75 million over the term of the agreement." He continued by saying the $75 million in additional payments, to be made over the course of the deal, will come partially from surcharges on arena tickets.
The NBA will also be contributing financial support to the project though no exact figures have been reached.
The Kings are extremely important to the city of Sacramento. They are the only game in town and it would be disastrous for that fan base to lose their beloved team. And while Oakland has three teams in town, it is conceivable that in the not-so-distant future, they could all leave for elsewhere.
The Raiders are in most dire need of a new stadium and Mark Davis has made no bones about his willingness to uproot the team should they not get one. The A's have been in serious discussions about relocating to San Jose. The City of San Francisco has also been exploring the idea of building a new arena for the Warriors which would take them across the bay.
Not only is a new stadium for the Raiders the most immediate need due to the dilapidated state of the O.co coliseum, but if the team moves, it would likely be the greatest distance from Oakland. The A's and Warriors would still remain in the Bay Area and simply have some of the fans traveling a little farther to see their team play. But the Raiders would very likely relocate to Los Angeles to inhabit either the proposed Farmers Field at LA Live in downtown or the proposed site in the City of Industry just east of Los Angeles. And while this would be great for the LA Raider fan contingency, it would alienate the Oakland fan base... again.
It will take a fourth quarter comeback much like Sacramento had with the Kings for the Raiders to get their new digs and therefore stay in Oakland.
It would also be much like the new stadium being built for the 49ers in Santa Clara. Funding will come from the team, the city, and the league primarily. NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, has said that it is his priority to keep all current NFL teams where they are. And the league will be pitching in $200 million to the 49ers stadium efforts to prove it. Now, that gap between the city of Oakland and the Raiders must be bridged as it eventually was in the Sacramento and Santa Clara projects.
Much of the money the Maloof brothers are fronting for the Sacramento arena project, will also go toward renovating a new downtown area. This is very much like the plans put forth to renovate the surrounding area of the Coliseum. And while the proposed "Coliseum city" (pictured above) might be a little bit ambitious, it is not impossible. It just seems unlikely. At very least it is a good place to start.
There must be proposals to discuss, which start the wheels turning, and show both the team and the city of Oakland that both parties are willing, if not eager, to get a deal done. That is the gap that has yet to be bridged. And hopefully, the Sacramento Kings new stadium proposal can be used as a successful model for the Raiders and the city of Oakland so both sides can see not only is it worth the effort and the financial ramifications for both sides, but that it is very possible.