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Anaheim officials move on plan to bring NBA team to Honda Center

The City Council OK'd up to $75 million in lease revenue bonds.

By Kristen SchottPublished: March 30, 2011 09:45 AM

Courtesy of the Anaheim/O.C. Visitor and Convention Bureau
Anaheim officials this week OK'd a number of measures needed to bring a second professional sports team – namely the Sacramento Kings – to the Honda Center, including approving up to $75 million in lease revenue bonds.

The bonds include $50 million for working capital and transition costs, and $25 million for capital improvements at the city-owned venue. They will be purchased by several private investors – led by Henry Samueli, who owns Anaheim Arena Management, the company that runs the Honda Center – and will be paid back over 10 years.

Officials also approved amendments to the management agreement between the city and Anaheim Arena Management, including extending the deal through June 2033. (It was originally slated to expire in June 2023). The firm can also extend the deal for four, five-year terms to 2053.

"The benefit to the city of Anaheim of this provision is that it will assure the stability of management through the term of the NBA venue contract and beyond while providing an incentive for AAM to continue to make significant long-term investments in the facility," according to the staff report.

Additionally, the City Council approved language requiring any new team at the venue to use Anaheim in its name.

However, the deal will "only become effective" if a contract between Anaheim Arena Management and an NBA team is solidified within 180 days, according to the staff report.

“Our action ... sets the table for a professional basketball team to come to Anaheim and play at Honda Center,” said Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait. “For our part, we have ensured that there is no financial risk or obligation to the Anaheim taxpayer or to the city. ... We are confident that our city and our region can and will strongly support an NBA team in Anaheim.”

The city currently is home to two other professional sports teams – the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – in addition to a range of other attractions, such as the Disneyland Resort. Officials hope the addition of an NBA team will further make the city a top sports and entertainment destination.

“I am confident that an NBA team in Orange County will do very well,” said Tait. “As far as our fan base is concerned, we will fill the seats at Honda Center when professional basketball comes to town.”

Individuals can be added to the priority interest list for ticket information by e-mailing this address.

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