Sponsors could force Kings’ hand on staying or going

Arco ArenaThere are a lot of words that can be used to describe the Sacramento Kings' arena situation. Being in Sacramento, I have used a lot of words, some of them fit to print on this site and some that are not. 

If I had to choose one word over all the others, it would probably be sad, because I live in Sacramento and these die-hard fans do not deserve what is happened to them the last couple of years.

It is one thing to deal with on the court ineptitude and an apparent lack of front office accountability for a few years. It is another thing entirely to deal with those things knowing that your owners are debating whether to pull up the stakes and move on to what they think will be greener pastures.

For months the city of Sacramento, led by Mayor Kevin Johnson, a slew of committed fans and local business owners, did everything they could to keep the team from moving elsewhere. But after co-owner George Maloof blew up more bridges than Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, the business owners, also known as sponsors, may be giving up on the Kings.

CBS Sacramento's Steve Large reports the team has lost a major sponsor for the coming season.

Carl’s Jr. once touted them as billionaire brothers in an ad campaign, but now the fast food company tells CBS13 that its cravings for the Maloofs are over.

"Carl’s Jr. is not seeking naming rights for the arena in Sacramento. While we have sponsored the Kings in the past, we will not be renewing our team sponsorship this season," a company statement read.

Large's report also detailed the loss of several other sponsors that were plastered across the gym formerly known as Arco Arena.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images/ZimbioWhat this does is move the Maloofs into a corner. A very fair arena deal is not on the table, the NBA blocked their attempt to move to Anaheim and the Maloofs claim they have no interest in selling the team.

But how much does that change if they are hemmoraging cash becasue they lack a full compliment of partners? Is that going to be their only option by the time the deadline to file for relocation rolls around next spring?

This is the last thing fans should be focusing on. This is a team that has its warts, but there are some really intriguing storylines happening on the court for the Kings this season.

There is DeMarcus Cousins' development. How rookie Thomas Robinson and Cousins will fit next to each other. Will Tyreke Evans bounce back from a couple of disappointing seasons? And can fan favorite Isaiah Thomas build on an amazing rookie season? 

These are the things fans should be allowed to focus on and they will, but not without this stink bomb of will they stay or will they go looming over their season.

What are your thoughts on the arena situation in Sacramento? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below or on Twitter by using the hashtag #KingsDay.