VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - For now, it seems Kings fans don't have to lay awake at night worrying about this city stealing their team.
City officials presented only a preliminary plan today to construct an 18,500-seat arena a few blocks from the oceanfront. But 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.
In fact, the president of the sports and entertainment firm pitching the idea to the City Council went out of his way to distance the effort from the Kings.
When asked by reporters if Comcast-Spectacor has had conversations with Kings officials about a move to Virginia Beach, firm head Peter Luuko said, "we are at the point right now when we have not had formal talks." Pressed by reporters on whether he has had informal talks with the Kings, Luuko responded, "we have not had any talks."
While some city officials are lauding a plan to construct the arena as an economic jolt, others reacted to the idea with a mix of criticism and apathy.
Just four of 11 council members commented on the plan - and two of those had harsh remarks.
City officials will spend the next two months working on a term sheet between the city and Comcast-Spectacor, which has proposed to operate the facility. No developer has been signed on.
Part of that process will involve seeking out a pro sports tenant, city officials said. Much of the work between now and October will center around coming up with how the arena would be financed.