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Sacramento Kings fans hope renewed: Virginia Beach arena plan has a long way to go

Media reports were buzzing from coast to coast about a plan being pitched in Virginia Beach to build a new arena and possibly make it the new home of the Sacramento Kings – but when the proposal was unveiled to the Virginia Beach City Council Tuesday, no mention was made of the Kings, leaving fans to breathe a sigh of relief.

“They didn’t present a financing plan, provided only a cost estimate and – most importantly to Sacramento basketball fans – didn’t mention any potential sports teams as tenants,” Ryan Lillis reported in The Sacramento Bee Tuesday.

Although the rumors remained unsubstantiated after the weeklong worry-fest leading up to the City Council presentation, questions linger about what has been happening behind the scenes.

Sacramento Press Editor-in-Chief Jared Goyette spoke with Travis Waldron, a writer with the influential liberal think tank ThinkProgress, in a Sac Press Live chat Tuesday about the Virginia Beach arena proposal and the possible political maneuvering going on in the background.

“It’s not like franchises moving from city to city is a new development – it’s happened in baseball and hockey and football for as long as those leagues have been around,” Waldron said during the chat. “But this idea now of using new arenas and the types of deals they can get from taxpayers as pawns against each other in this big chess mach is, if not a new phenomenon, one that is becoming increasingly prevalent in sports.”

For the moment, Sacramento Kings fans can be certain of one thing: The Kings will play at Power Balance Pavilion at least one more season. Beyond that, it might take a crystal ball to discover what’s next.

Fans and foes of the Kings and the team’s owners, the Maloofs, were all over Facebook and Twitter this week sharing thoughts and opinions – and projections – for the future of the team:

Melissa Corker is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter @MelissaCorker.

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