SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The possible move of the Sacramento Kings to Anaheim will definitely taking a detour through the halls of the State Capitol.
Today, State Senator Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento along with Assemblyman Roger Dickinson of Sacramento, Senator Ted Gaines of Fair Oaks, and Assemblyman Richard Pan of Sacramento introduced a bill that prohibit a professional sports team from moving with in California unless that team has paid off all its debts to the California city from which it moves.
“Pro sports teams frequently create partnerships with local government, but let’s not forget these are tax dollars at work,” said Senator Steinberg. “No one is saying sports franchises, like any other business, shouldn’t be able to move to another city. However, taxpayers in one city shouldn’t be left holding the bag for the benefit of another city. “
“When pro sports teams move, they leave communities and loyal fans deprived and disappointed,” said Assemblyman Dickinson. “This bill at least ensures the teams don’t leave without paying their bills.”
The bill is obviously a response to possible move of the Sacramento Kings to Anaheim.
“Sacramento taxpayers can’t play second-string to Anaheim,” said Senator Gaines. “Losing the team is bad enough and there is no way Sacramento can eat the nearly $80 million owed by the Maloofs.”
“Sports fans give so much to their teams and if that includes loans financed by taxpayer dollars, those loans should be repaid before teams relocate,” said Dr. Pan. “Here in Sacramento, we’re fanatical about our Kings but not to the point of saying, ‘Thanks for the memories, don’t worry about that $77 million.’”
If passed, the new law would apply to any relocation agreement entered into on or after January 1, 2011.
The bill is classified as an urgency measure to take effect immediately, so it requires at least a two-thirds majority vote for passage.