SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is, for the first time, acknowledging the Kings could move south to Anaheim.
Johnson admitted losing the team would hurt the city both psychologically and economically.
He says he’ll do everything he can to keep the team. But also says he won’t let the city be used as a bargaining chip in the Maloof’s negotiations.
Johnson says the team is one of Sacramento’s largest employers and losing those jobs could devastate the city which is already reeling from high unemployment.
If the Kings leave Sacramento, it’s possible a lot of other events could be gone too.
The Maloofs own the Kings and operate the arena.
If they take the team out of town, they could stop operating the arena.
That would mean no other events, like wrestling matches, concerts, or the circus.
“You don’t have to be an NBA fan, but if the NBA leaves Sacramento you will feel the loss in this community,” said Mike Testa of Sacramento Convention & Visitor’s Bureau.
The Maloofs could opt to continue operating the arena, even if the Kings leave.
Or, another group could take over operations there.
The Maloofs have not commented on the possible move or operation of the arena.