SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sacramento has once again been passed over as a site for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
The Sacramento Sports Commission confirmed Wednesday that the NCAA did not select Sacramento and Sleep Train Arena as a regional site for tournament games in 2014 or 2015. The NCAA also skipped over Sacramento in 2009, citing the Kings’ arena as inadequate.
The Sacramento Sports Commission was asked by the NCAA to apply again to be a host city, but ultimately Sacramento was passed over. The arena previously hosted NCAA tournament games in 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2007.
“It’s no surprise that Sacramento has once again missed the cut to host the NCAA tournament and bring more jobs and revenue to our community,” Mayor Kevin Johnson said. “It’s the latest reminder of how crucial a new entertainment and sports complex is to reaching our full economic potential as a region, and I remain as committed as ever to making that goal a reality.”
Johnson thought the city had an agreement with the Maloofs, majority owners of the Kings, to build a new downtown arena in the Sacramento railyards earlier this year before the family backed away from the deal, saying it wasn’t the right time for the city or the team to invest in a new arena.
Since then, the Kings’ future in Sacramento has been called into question, with reports linking the team to efforts by Seattle and Virginia Beach to lure an NBA team to their cities.
Ironically, KeyArena in Seattle was chosen by the NCAA to host games in 2015. The SuperSonics left Seattle in 2008 after failed efforts to build a new arena there.