Citing anonymous sources, a Virginian-Pilot news story today said a representative of the Sacramento Kings met recently with the Virginia governor about the possibility of moving the team to Virginia Beach.
Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms told the Bee this morning that a professional team is "very interested" in a move to that city, but he declined to name the team. Sacramento Kings co-owner Joe Maloof simply said "no" this morning when asked by the Bee whether the team had a recent meeting with the Virginia governor. Maloof offered no elaboration.
A press secretary to Virginia governor Bob McDonnell declined comment Thursday when contacted by the Bee.
The Virginian-Pilot report rekindles talk from two months ago that the Kings had had some discussions with
Virginia Beach officials about that city's desires to build an arena and attract a major league team.
Mayor Sessoms told the Bee Thursday he will brief the City Council next week on the status of ongoing talks with Live Nation and Comcast Spectacor about a potential term sheet on an arena financing deal.
"There is a professional sports team that is very interested," he said. He declined comment when asked if that team was the Kings.
A Kings spokesman on Thursday reissued the statement the team has been giving since the Virginia Beach rumors first surfaced months ago:
"We have been contacted over the years by several cities and parties interested in the Kings organization. However, we are not going to comment on rumors regarding relocation of the franchise. Our sole focus over the last several months has been to improve the team. . . .The future of the Kings franchise is very bright as ownership has made a strong financial investment in the organization by adding nearly $135 million in potential future player payroll over the past two off-seasons."
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