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Anaheim to consider $75 million in bonds to help Sacramento Kings move to O.C.

To bring the Sacramento Kings to Anaheim's Honda Center, the City Council will consider issuing $75 million in bonds for arena improvements and relocation costs. A proposal would also require that "Anaheim" be the first word and only geographic identifier in the team's name.

March 25, 2011|By Lance Pugmire
  • Drivers on Interstate 5 in Sacramento are greeted by a billboard implying the Sacramento KIngs might be moving.
Drivers on Interstate 5 in Sacramento are greeted by a billboard implying… (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated…)

The Anaheim City Council next week will consider a resolution to issue $75 million in privately financed bonds to help the Sacramento Kings relocate to an improved Honda Center, according to a council agenda posted Friday.

As proposed, a maximum of $50 million would go toward relocation costs the Kings would be charged by the NBA. The rest would be for improvements such as the addition of an NBA locker room inside the 19,000-seat arena and the construction of a practice facility.

The city is also taking steps to assure its place on the league map. As written, the resolution requires the team carry Anaheim "as its first word and sole geographic identifier."

The council meets Tuesday.

The Kings are not mentioned by name in any of the meeting documents, but one amendment notes that Anaheim Arena Management, which runs the Honda Center for the city, "proposes entering into a long-term agreement with a team holding an NBA franchise."

A lawyer connected to the Kings sought trademarks earlier this month for the team name "Anaheim Royals," connecting the franchise nickname to its prior homes in Rochester, N.Y., and Cincinnati.

Officials with the NBA, the Kings and the Honda Center declined to comment.

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait, in a prepared statement, expressed enthusiasm about bringing NBA basketball to Orange County and said such an agreement would pose "no financial risk for the taxpayers, the city's finances and our community as a whole."

The Kings have until April 18 to apply to the NBA's Board of Governors to relocate. The board would establish any relocation fee that would be distributed among the league's 29 other owners. The city's bond deal would become effective only if the arena and the Kings execute a venue contract within 180 days.

Bob Wingenroth, the city's finance director, said "several private investors have expressed a desire to purchase all of the bonds." Among them is Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli, according to several officials connected to the deal who are unauthorized to publicly discuss it.

"There will be no impact to the [city's] general fund. The bonds are … payable from revenues generated by the Honda Center," Wingenroth wrote.

The council may also consider a recommendation to extend its agreement with Anaheim Arena Management by 10 years, to June 30, 2033. That would cover the standard 15-year NBA venue contract, plus a five-year extension, according to the agenda.

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimespugmire

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