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Kings reportedly talked with Virginia governor about move

Published: Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3B
Last Modified: Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012 - 12:09 am

Citing anonymous sources, the Virginian-Pilot newspaper reported Thursday that a representative of the Sacramento Kings met recently with the Virginia governor about the possibility of moving the team to Virginia Beach.

A press secretary to Gov. Bob McDonnell declined to comment. But Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms told The Bee a professional team is "very interested" in a move to that city. He refused to name the team or comment on any meetings.

Sacramento Kings co-owner Joe Maloof simply said "no" Thursday when asked by The Bee whether the team had a recent meeting with the Virginia governor. Maloof offered no elaboration.

The Virginian-Pilot report rekindles talk from two months ago that the Kings have talked with Virginia Beach officials about that city's desires to build an arena and attract a major-league team.

Sessoms said he will brief the City Council next week on the status of ongoing talks with Live Nation and Comcast Spectacor about a potential arena financing deal.

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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