In news that should surprise nobody, Virginia Beach mayor Will Sessoms conceded a cross-country move for the Sacramento Kings is officially off the table, citing the fact that neither side was even close to committing any of the millions of dollars required to make the relocation happen (translation: the broke Maloof brothers wanted VA Beach to pay for everything):
The city doesn’t see a clear opportunity at this point and as such it’s not something we’re aggressively going after. The city is kind of withdrawing. We’re not doing any more consultants, lawyer or lobbying.
Sessoms was a little more blunt when asked for comment by the Sacramento Bee:
This just ain’t gonna work at this point in time.
The relocation proposal required the city to fork over $241 million, with an additional $150 million coming from the state, and $35 million from Comcast-Spectator. An $80 million relocation fee was included in that pool. However, Virginia governor Bob McDonnell did not request the state funds in his 2013 budget, and city officials balked at making a plea to the General Assembly, mainly because it’s really difficult to convince a state legislature to commit $150 million in public funds for Team X (which is basically what VA Beach officials have to call it, because they’re not supposed to talk about the worst-kept secret in the NBA).
Meanwhile, the Maloofs are sticking to the charade, as evident by their latest statement on the matter:
As we have said for nearly a year, we have been contacted by several cities and parties interested in the Sacramento Kings organization. The announcement today from Virginia Beach does not change our long-held position that we will not comment on rumors or speculation about the franchise.
By the way, if you’d like to buy the Kings, the Maloofs are now entertaining offers. Starting bid: $500 million.
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