Thursday, September 30, 2010

Maloofs determined to find a solution to arena snafu

Sacramento Kings owner Joe Maloof admitted Thursday morning to extreme frustration after another failed attempt to get a new arena built.

Arco Arena has outlived its usefulness, but finding a way to pay for a new arena has proved impossible heretofore.

"I'm very, very frustrated," Maloof said. "But we're not ready to quit. The frustration is in trying to find a solution."

Maloof said the organization - even when former owner Jim Thomas was running the show - has been trying to work towards building a new arena for more than a decade.

"We've tried a number of approaches during the past 11 years," Maloof said, "and even before our ownership took over, Jim Thomas tried for two years before that."

Maloof said ultimately, "We have to figure out how to get it done on our own."

There's always been a respect for what is best for the community, Maloof said.

"It's not just about the Kings," Maloof said. "There are 135 events a year in Arco. It's a community arena and always will be. It's an entertainment center."

Maloof said he reads the comments that follow stories written about the Arena situation.

Personally, I've never consistently read comments after stories because of the power and freedom I believe anonymity provides idiots and cowards.

Yet, I have consistently read comments regarding stories on the Arena situation.

"We like to try to see what the public is feeling and saying," Maloof said.

If the Maloofs continue to read those comments, it tells me they are extremely thick-skinned and somewhat masochistic.

It's rare to read comments sympathetic to their plight. Rare to see recognition of their attempts over the years to have an arena funded and constructed.

Nor do I ever read about any apologies from those who swore up and down the Maloofs had one foot out of the door and another on a banana peel.

They were sure to go Anaheim, San Jose, Kansas City, Las Vegas or Albuquerque said these know-it-all know-nothings.

After covering the Kings for more than a decade, I know how many e-mails I received stating the opinion that the Maloofs were just waiting for opportunities to move.

I was, at times, chastised for not agreeing the Maloofs would move the Kings.

If I thought were the case, I'd have said so. But I never did. My conversations with Joe and his brother, Gavin, always led me to believe they viewed Sacramento as fertile ground and a place in which they felt extremely comfortable.

And unless I'm a complete idiot and have lost my ability to read people accurately, I've always seen the family as very down-to-earth millionaires who usually wear their feelings on their sleeves.

Maloof pointed out his group has paid likely around $3 million to consultants and attorneys, not to mention putting their heart, blood, sweat and tears into the efforts.

Maloof quipped, "Remember, the Good Lord Jesus Christ could come down and he's not going to get it done with a public-private enterprise."

The owner said he had only love for the convergence group that put together the most recent proposal involving the Cal Expo land, the land around Arco and downtown.

"I know everybody worked very hard on their respective ends," he said. "I think ultimately there were too many moving parts, too many agencies that had to come together."

Maloof said his family remains committed to NBA Commissioner David Stern.

"As a family, we're going to take our direction from commissioner Stern," Maloof said. "We have a lot of respect for him and he's tried to help us as much as he can. We'll talk to him, but we haven't had a chance to do yet."

Maloof said his family has a game plan.

"Our game plan is don't give up, yet."


  1. I would like to see the Maloofs spear head the effort to get a new arena. So far their delegation to David Stern and a group of Consultants have proved fruitless. Joe and Gavin are genuine guys who I would rally around if they led the charge. So how about it Maloof Family, lay your cards on the table, tells us how much it will cost, how much you will contribute and we will support you 1000%. Go Kings!!! Jim Edlund, Davis, CA

  2. Thanks for the feedback, Jim. Perhaps the Maloofs will put together plans and designs for a new arena and begin putting together groups willing to contribute to arena financing. And yes, putting forth a figure of what they are willing to contribute could help. That's not an approach most, if any, owners utilize. However, these are unique times and likely require a unique approach. Thanks again for the comment. Please do so again.

  3. I guess all I can say here is Go Kings!

  4. I am a big time Kings fan and I agree with this assessment. The Maloofs are trying as hard as they can to make it work in Sacramento. No one would have that type of dedication if they were trying to move the team after being rejected by the city so many times. Honestly, I believe some of this has to do with the recent struggles of the team and I also believe that some of the fans (not the true ones) became spoiled by the winning seasons between 99-06 and thats a shame because even before we had Adelman, Webb, and Vlade...we were just happy to have a team. Unfortunately with the struggles of the team now and the economy and a large amount of citizens not really having any desire/sympathy to help millionaire owners out, it just sucks to know this could be the last couple of years. Hopefully, a miracle happens and an arena gets built because I would probably lose my mind if the Kings left but I honestly couldn't blame them after trying for over 10 years.

    -Amish Doshi