Amid all the sabre-rattling between the US and China over the South China Sea — where sports are concerned, as long as the money is green and there’s mutual benefit, the Chinese seem welcome to help build a new stadium in California for the National Basketball Association.

Hoops, in this case, take precedence over US Navy loops near Mischief Reef.

An artist’s impression of the Golden 1 Center mixed-development project in California. It will open in October 2016. [Photo/nba.com]

The Sacramento Kings, an NBA team, in California’s capital city, is courting Chinese investors for its Golden 1 Center mixed development plan, reported China Daily on Monday. The project will have a new basketball arena, luxury retail, hospitality and residences and is expected to open in October 2016.

“This is the first time that an arena combined with surrounding mixed-use development has been offered as a prime EB-5 investment opportunity,” said Ginny Fang, CEO of Golden Gate Global to China Daily.

The EB-5 program, which is run by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service, grants a foreign investor a US visa for making a $1 million investment that creates at least 10 new and permanent jobs for Americans.

The arena project is being jointly built by the Sacramento Kings and JMA Ventures, Todd Chapman, president and CEO of JMA told China Daily.

Although the EB-5 opportunity is open to all foreign investors, more than 80% of the visas issued go to Chinese residents, compared with just 13% a decade ago, said China Daily.  So, promotions for EB-5 visas are mainly held in Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang and Dalian, she said.

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