Saturday, December 5, 2009

Monarchs Watch: Day 16

Clay Kallam, writing for Slam Online, wonders if the Maloofs folding the Monarchs is a sign of their future plans involving the Kings:

What it says about the Maloofs and the Kings is pretty obvious: Sacramento can wave bye-bye to its only major league sports franchise come next summer. Clearly, by folding the Monarchs, the Maloofs have given up on ever passing a measure in support of a new arena, and without a new arena, even in the best of the times, they simply will not have the resources to make it the NBA.

Kallam postulates that:

* Only a new arena can save the Kings.
* In Sacramento, a new arena depends on the voters.
* The Maloofs just tossed away part of the women's vote, and therefore
* The Maloofs know that they can never win a ballot issue on an arena in Sacramento, meaning that the Maloofs will either give up the franchise or be shopping it elsewhere.

As for the thought of no new arena being passed in Sacramento, my comments are: "Good: someone came to their senses!". I've been sick and tired over the last twenty years of big time owners (and big-time sports) squeezing money out of the voters of large cities for new facilities with the threat of "give us what we want, or we'll move". That money could have been spent on police, or for medical care, or for schools but it goes into the pockets of some billionaire in exchange for the promise of "job creation" - promises which have proven never to pan out. If any team in Atlanta - the Falcons, the Hawks, even the Braves - tried that "prove you appreciate us by funding a billion-dollar arena, or we'll leave", my answer would be "Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out." Big-time owners talk about how cities must learn to appreciate their big-time sports - but during crunch time, the relationship always seems to be one-sided.

This is one of the reasons I don't care much for NBA ownership of WNBA franchises - the second the dual-franchise owner wishes to plead poverty, he talks about how he's going to have to fold the WNBA franchise. The Simons in Indianapolis were talking about folding the Fever all of last year, in an attempt to plead poverty so the city of Indianapolis would get them an arena deal as sweet as the one given to the Colts by the city.

Maybe, as Kallam writes, it is the end of the old franchise game, where a franchise was always a money winner because you could always expect a group of people with more money than common sense to purchase one. Neither people nor cities have the kind of money to play that game any more. It was a game that was always played at the expense of urban communities. And if the NHL and NBA eventually face contraction, color me unconcerned.

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