Sacramento Leaders Happy With Pitch To NBA Execs To Keep Kings

SACRAMENTO,Calif.– The battle to save the Kings wages on as NBA officials spend Day 2 in Sacramento at Power Balance Pavilion.

Members of the NBA relocation committee toured the former ARCO Arena this morning.  It’s unclear of they were accompanied by any members of the Maloof family who own the Kings.   CBS13 is being told the NBA representatives will now head down toAnaheimto hear that city’s pitch to get the Kings.

The arena tour comes the day after Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and other political and business leaders met with those NBA officials. 

A week after Johnson made a desperate pitch to the NBA Board of Governors inNew Yorkthat persuaded the league to dispatch a fact-finding team toSacramento, the mayor believes he made another splash when they arrived. He presented $9.2 million in commitments for new advertising, ticket purchases and other financial support from regional businesses and other backers to prevent the team from moving toAnaheim.

Johnson said his pitch to Clay Bennett, the Oklahoma City Thunder owner and the NBA’s relocation committee chairman, and league attorney Harvey Benjamin made a strong impression. He originally promised $7 million to league owners and NBA Commissioner David Stern.

“If you go back a week ago from today, we thought it was virtually over,” said Johnson, a former NBA All-Star. “And not only did we prevent the team from leaving, we got a chance to show them who we are. And when we said $7 million, and the commissioner said, ‘Well, prove it,’ he sent a team out and we over delivered. I mean, this isSacramento. This is what makes us great.”

Johnson, Bennett and Benjamin first met inCalifornia’s Capitol in the office of Senate President Darrell Steinberg. That meeting included local political leaders.

They later met at the U.S. Bank tower downtown with business leaders, including Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce President Matt Mahood. The relocation team headed by Bennett, who moved the Seattle SuperSonics toOklahoma Citythree years ago, also was expected to tour proposed sites for a new arena.

Stern wanted to investigate further because he said past arena efforts inSacramentowere “usually an eye-roller” and didn’t know if Johnson’s assertions were “real or a pie in the sky.”

“They’re sort of verifying some of the representations by Mayor Johnson about how to produce so much in increased sponsorships, so much in increased ticket revenues,” Stern said Thursday night inPhiladelphiabefore the 76ers-Heat game. “And as a result, if the team does come back or stay inSacramentofor another year, it will not only be much better off financially, but it will also give us the time to deliver a deal on a regional basis for a new arena.”

The pitch by business and political leaders centered on that regional effort — not just one by city ofSacramento, as in the past — to increase team sponsorship and finance a new arena. While Johnson has yet to publicly disclose the businesses involved in his secured commitments, other leaders backed up his claims to league representatives.

“Sacramentoput a stake in the ground today saying the Kings need to stay,” Mahood said.

Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof have until May 2 to request permission to relocate to Anaheim. After years of failed efforts to replace outdated Power Balance Pavilion, formerly called Arco Arena,Sacramento officials are using the extra time to show the NBA that they can finally agree on a plan to finance a new facility.

A new arena feasibility plan — the major sticking point in past efforts — won’t be completed until a few weeks after the relocation deadline. A majority approval by owners would be needed to approve the move, and political leaders inSacramentobelieve there’s still time to convince the NBA the Kings shouldn’t leave.

“I don’t think they have made up their minds,” City Councilman Rob Fong said.

  • cmore

    I am so tired of hearing about this . Why does Sacramento want to keep a losing team? Why are you people willing to spend all this money for a losing team? Not only do they want a new arena that will cost millions, but just to go to the games is very expensive. The average person cannot afford the gas, the food, drinks and the parking.
    Every news broadcast opens with the KINGS story. I just don’t watch the news anymore. Last night Channel 10 started their broadcast at 1100 with this story and spent 10 minutes talking about this. I turned it off. This is getting to be ridiculous. IT IS BEING SHOVED DOWN OUR THROATS. If they stay or if they go, just don’t make it the most important story in the newspaper or television. ENOUGH ALREADY.

    • Rocky C.

      CMORE you really have no clue do you? What about all the people who will lose their jobs if the Kings do decide to leave? Are you going to hire these people and pay their salaries? This subject needs to be out there in the news as much as possible. Idiot!!!

    • Steve

      its people like you the reason the vote never worked for the kings arena. you’re probably an old fat guy that sits at home with his cats talking to 16 year old girls in a chat room. you should move to Fresno.

    • ryder

      You simply don’t get it. No breath needs to be wasted here.

    • Grant N.

      You are a moron. Are you out of your freakin mind?!

  • intheknow

    Keep the team and get ride of the Maloofs, unless they change their ways. You can’t maintain a winning team by paying the minimum salary cap, $45 million, here or in Anahiem. If they leave lets go after the New Orleans team who are for sale.
    I still say build in Natomas area because of the existing infrastructure. However downtown would probably be favored by the business community.


    cmore: shortsighted. thats all i got to say. The Maloofs donate over 10 mil a year to local charities, the Kings generate Millions in Tax revenue for the city through the kings, and thier fans (visiting natomas businesses before and after games). Losing the Kings will be a bigger blow to the region than you think, and if it isnt front page news, there is 0 chance the kings will stay. They have to be front page news, or it wont work. So you can say you dont care, but spending 9.2 mil to keep 20 mil in the area (charity, taxes. ect) is a smart investment.

    • conserver1

      They have to be front page news, or it wont work? So don’t just bend over, bend allll the wayyy overrr! This is show biz. If you can’t generate enough publicity, the show will go. Show ’em how much we want it.

    • Bob #2

      Maloof suck
      Kings Suck
      Get out of town…take KJ with you.

    • ryder

      Agree completely.

  • c.g

    Arco is a dump! Get a owner who puts out 2/3rd of the cash out on the arena, taxpayers cover the other third, not the other way around, Keep ticket prices sane, since we are in a recession, and lets do this! And Cmore, if your so tired of this, why are you reading about it, and leaving negative comments, loser. It is obvious Maloofs sabotaged the team after they did not get what they want. And Petrie still got us some nice pieces to build on. Go Sac Kings! Downtown bb.

    • Bob #2

      TAX PAYERS COVER NOTHING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sacramento Leaders Happy With Pitch To NBA Execs To Keep Kings

    […] 2 to request permission to relocate to Anaheim. After years of failed efforts to replace outdated Power Balance Pavilion, formerly called Arco Arena, Sacramento officials are using the extra time to show […]

  • WisenCynical

    Hey is this leads to a cool new arena.. then so be it. Let us use the Kings for a change. God knows they have been using us for awhile now.

  • awasteofmoney

    Why are we worried about keeping the Kings when we should be focusing on the fixing the budget and getting people jobs. Why not take the 9.2 million and put into schools instead of wasting on a team that doesn’t want to stay.

  • Redneckwriter

    I would love to know whta promises King (I mean Mayor) Johnson gave the businesses who promised “$9.2 million in commitments for new advertising, ticket purchases and other financial support from regional businesses and other backers to prevent the team from moving to Anaheim.”

    Is he promising tax credits? Favorable results with permits? This is politics these companies know that if they scratch a politicians back, they get something in return.

  • ryder

    It’s amazing how many narrow-minded sissies exist in cyberspace. Pull up your pants, grow some nads, and pitch in to help keep the only thing that has the potential of making Sacramento anything more than the state capitol, home of countless, faceless bureaucrats and sissified liberals.

  • btone31

    What a dumb comment. Why did you have to bring up the KJ allegation? He didn’t do it. But you’re probably from East Sac, so I’m not suprised.

  • me

    I have an Idea: Lets explore different sports. Are there any out there? Like Football, Soccer,Bat mitten, volleyball, Tennis, just to name a few. Why do we have to settle for Basket ball? I hated that sport in High School. How about we turn the ARENA into an all sports ARENA? My god what an Idea?Basket ball sucks, and the Kings help that along every year. Sorry no internet sissy here, nor am I narrow minded. Lets all expand our thinking power and find something else. Please help, and God Bless.

  • Sam

    Having a pro team in Sac is a great status symbol. I don’t want them to control the arena. I’m not willing to just hand them a new complex. Sac needs to build it, but not let the MaF*ups take all the financially benefits. It sure would be great if our Sac Leaders would put the same effort into luring major corporations to Sac!!

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