Well, maybe it wasn't quite "divine", but the intervention of NBA's franchise owners in the proposed move of the Sacramento Kings to Seattle has provided the struggling California capitol with another chance to keep its only major sports team. Much of the ownership changed hands, Seattle must wait for the next possible NBA defection, and the city that posted the worst attendance in the entire league this season gets an unearned reprieve.
The days of teams defecting to other places in the middle of the night are long over. League ownership must approve such moves now, so storied midnight runs such as the NFL's Cleveland Browns to Baltimore, the Colorado Hockey Rockies to New Jersey to become the Devils, and of course the Kansas City Kings to Sacramento, don't happen again and sully the integrity of professional sports. OK. That's a bit snarky. But still. Why can't owners simply move their teams if they want to? Most NBA franchises traditionally run at a loss overall, and Sacramento boasts some lousy fan support, so what's the upside for an ownership group?
Nevertheless, the new ownership which includes Qualcomm, 24 Hour Fitness, and Facebook moguls, has committed $192 million of a necessary $449m to build a new arena, which should certainly be enough to get those Sacramentoans out of the house and into the stands. Or will it? Where will the additional funds come from? Taxes? I think not. Hopefully these wealthy executives will be able to help generate big sponsorship dollars to supplement a nice fat payroll for players The bottom line is that Sacramento is a very small market, and not exactly Beverly Hills income-wise, if you get my drift. Without significant investment in the "product", namely talented yet expensive players, the masses aren't likely to show up on a consistent basis.
And of course the impatient crowd in Seattle now has one more reason besides a lack of sunlight and Vitamin D to drown its sorrows in a large vat of mocha latte, as this basketball-savvy metropolis is hungry for a new team after being jilted by a new owner who promptly moved the Supersonics to Oklahoma City several years ago. Despite the wishes of the previous ownership, the league refused to let teh team move. Let's see if such intervention ends up being good for the franchise.