FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

A Sacramento King’s Ransom: Local Tax Dollars and an NBA Owner’s Wealth

It was an historic first of local, national and global scope. The Sacramento Kings NBA basketball team played an exhibition game against the Indian Pacers in Mumbai, India recently. Reporting in a flagship U.S. newspaper is instructive.

Sopan Deb, a culture reporter for the New York Times, in his laudatory coverage of that game, deftly sidestepped the financial role of Sacramento taxpayers in subsidizing the Kings to accumulate wealth for Vivek Ranadive, owner of the Kings. What is it by the numbers, according to a critic? I asked Craig Powell, an attorney and head of Eye on Sacramento, a fiscal watchdog group.

“Based on current valuations of NBA franchises, Ranadive and his partners stand to make a windfall profit of nearly $1.5 billion on their $534 million purchase price for the Kings,” Powel said in an email. “It can be accurately characterized as a “windfall” profit because it was made possible by the $330 million city taxpayers’ subsidy of the construction of the Golden 1 Center, the sports palace where the Kings play their games.”

The NYT’s reporter described Mr. Ranadive as a believer in social justice. I read that and thought of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, awash in corporate greenbacks, who opposes the Green New Deal and single-payer Medicare for All health care, calling herself a “progressive.” Oy vey.

“If Mr. Ranadive truly believes in “social justice issues” and that the Kings’ franchise “belongs to the city” and its “fans,” as he so piously claims,” Powell said and then suggested a different course of action. “He could and should rectify the palpable injustice of his pocketing a third of a billion dollars in taxpayer subsidies by now granting the City of Sacramento and its beleaguered taxpayers a one-third ownership stake in his $1.5 billion financial windfall. Now that would be true justice.”

Pigs will fly across the morning sky first without organized resistance to the current fiscal priorities in Sacramento. Dissidents are up against the usual suspects, the financial and real estate interests that demand and get public dollars. In the case of the Golden 1 Center and Mr. Ranadive’s wealth, the economics of global sports such as the NBA begins with local politics.

Meanwhile, the Kings can continue to miss the postseason playoffs in the competitive Western Conference of the NBA and the team’s market valuation will continue to rise. One need not have a Ph.D. in economics to understand this upward trend.

The anticipation of the future audience growth from bringing NBA teams such as the Kings and Pacers to play in India, the most populous nation on planet Earth with scores of actual and potential fans to watch games and buy NBA-related goods and services, is driving up the market valuation of the Kings. Mr. Ranadive, born into a well-heeled family in Mumbai, is sitting pretty to deliver fellow Indians into the tender clutches of moneyed interests set to grow their investment capital. This is not rocket science, folks.

Securing tax dollars from working class pockets as an NBA investment policy is a win-win for the owner of the Kings. It is nice work for those who can get it. Just ask Mr. Ranadive, unlike an NYT reporter.

More articles by:

Seth Sandronsky is a Sacramento journalist and member of the freelancers unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild. Email sethsandronsky@gmail.com

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
December 06, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Eat an Impeachment
Matthew Hoh
Authorizations for Madness; The Effects and Consequences of Congress’ Endless Permissions for War
Jefferson Morley
Why the Douma Chemical Attack Wasn’t a ‘Managed Massacre’
Andrew Levine
Whatever Happened to the Obama Coalition?
Paul Street
The Dismal Dollar Dems and the Subversion of Democracy
Dave Lindorff
Conviction and Removal Aren’t the Issue; It’s Impeachment of Trump That is Essential
Ron Jacobs
Law Seminar in the Hearing Room: Impeachment Day Six
Linda Pentz Gunter
Why Do We Punish the Peacemakers?
Louis Proyect
Michael Bloomberg and Me
Robert Hunziker
Permafrost Hits a Grim Threshold
Joseph Natoli
What We Must Do
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Global Poison Spring
Robert Fantina
Is Kashmir India’s Palestine?
Charles McKelvey
A Theory of Truth From the South
Walden Bello
How the Battle of Seattle Made the Truth About Globalization True
Evan Jones
BNP Before a French Court
Norman Solomon
Kerry’s Endorsement of Biden Fits: Two Deceptive Supporters of the Iraq War
Torsten Bewernitz – Gabriel Kuhn
Syndicalism for the Twenty-First Century: From Unionism to Class-Struggle Militancy
Matthew Stevenson
Across the Balkans: From Banja Luka to Sarajevo
Thomas Knapp
NATO is a Brain Dead, Obsolete, Rabid Dog. Euthanize It.
Forrest Hylton
Bolivia’s Coup Government: a Far-Right Horror Show
M. G. Piety
A Lesson From the Danes on Immigration
Ellen Isaacs
The Audacity of Hypocrisy
Monika Zgustova
Chernobyl, Lies and Messianism in Russia
Manuel García, Jr.
From Caesar’s Last Breath to Ours
Binoy Kampmark
Going to the ICJ: Myanmar, Genocide and Aung San Suu Kyi’s Gamble
Jill Richardson
Marijuana and the Myth of the “Gateway Drug”
Muzamil Bhat
Srinagar’s Shikaras: Still Waters Run Deep Losses
Gaither Stewart
War and Betrayal: Change and Transformation
Farzana Versey
What Religion is Your Nationalism?
Clark T. Scott
The Focus on Trump Reveals the Democrat Model
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Do Bernie’s Supporters Know What “Not Me, Us” Means? Does Bernie?
Peter Harley
Aldo Leopold, Revisited
Winslow Myers
A Presidential Speech the World Needs to Hear
Christopher Brauchli
The Chosen One
Jim Britell
Misconceptions About Lobbying Representatives and Agencies
Ted Rall
Trump Gets Away with Stuff Because He Does
Mel Gurtov
Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and the Insecurity of China’s Leadership
Nicky Reid
Dennis Kucinich, Tulsi Gabbard and the Slow Death of the Democratic Delusion
Tom H. Hastings
Cross-Generational Power to Change
John Kendall Hawkins
1619: The Mighty Whitey Arrives
Julian Rose
Why I Don’t Have a Mobile Phone
David Yearsley
Parasitic Sounds
Elliot Sperber
Class War is Chemical War
December 05, 2019
Colin Todhunter
Don’t Look, Don’t See: Time for Honest Media Reporting on Impacts of Pesticides
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail