Virginia Beach Rejects Pursuit of Kings
Virginia Beach, Va., today gave up its pursuit of the Sacramento Kings, acknowledging that a deal for a new arena couldn’t be reached.
“This just ain’t gonna work at this point in time,” the city’s mayor, Will Sessoms, told The Bee.
Sessoms had imposed a Monday deadline for reaching a deal so he could then go to theVirginia legislature for a $150 million subsidy. The city and arena developer Comcast-Spectacor issued a joint statement saying they haven’t “reached a level of progress that will allow the city to go before the General Assembly to request the necessary funding.”
“We can’t move forward because Comcast has not reached a deal,” Sessoms told The Bee.
He said Virginia Beach “would welcome” Comcast to keep talking with the team, “but the city will not be chasing this deal.”
He said he didn’t know what was the hangup in negotiations.
None of the parties have ever confirmed that the Kings were the team being courted by Virginia Beach, but the Maloofs’ interest in the resort city has been widely reported since August.
Contacted by The Bee, Maloof spokesman Eric Rose said in a prepared statement: “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.”