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20 November 2009 @ 08:50 pm
Bad News for Sacramento and WNBA: Monarchs folding/moving  
My mom forwarded me an email tonight from the Sacramento Monarchs saying that the team was going to close operations in Sacramento. The Maloof family, who runs both the Monarchs and the Kings, were going to pull their support.

The story is that the WNBA might try to move the Monarchs to the Bay Area, but apparently this decision by the Maloofs was as much a surprise to the WNBA as it was to many of the Monarchs staff including the coach.

That's a super bummer. The Monarchs are one of three pro sports franchises in the Sacramento area (if you count the AAA Baseball River Cats), and have long been fairly successful with one of the higher average attendance figures over the years. I guess it depends on what you mean by success. I don't know if they ever made a profit but do any pro sports franchises? It's not like they paid the players much money (league salary max was $80K). Personally, I didn't go to many Monarchs games but I did enjoy the ones I attended. And my mom was a season ticket holder and loved the games.

One has to assume this could mean trouble for the WNBA. If the Monarchs, who had supposedly strong support from the Maloofs, can fold what does that mean for the rest of the teams? However, the Bay Area might be willing to support a WNBA team even if there are already many other pro sports franchises there (five? six?)

It also could mean trouble for the Kings, even though the Maloofs say that they are focusing solely on the Kings. I expect to see a lot of Maloof-hate over the next months. I also expect to see a "build us an arena or we're out of here" statement from the Maloofs/Kings within the next year or two. Of course, that's standard operating procedure in the world of pro sports franchises.

So, I say to the Monarchs: Sorry to see you go. Thanks for all the great games!