SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Kings fans turned out to welcome back Mayor Kevin Johnson as he landed at Sacramento International Airport Thursday morning.

“I just want to say to Sacramento, well done,” the mayor said.

Fans gathered at the airport to show their appreciation for Johnson after he made his pitch to the NBA to keep the Kings from moving to Seattle.

“I think every time you come out here, you’ve shown your support. It creates this good feeling,” Kings fan Chris Lopez said.

Raw: Fans Greet Mayor At Airport

Moments after stepping off the plane from New York, Johnson was still in high spirits.

“We worked very hard; we left it all on the court. We are going to come back and continue to do what we need to do until the final decision is made,” he said.

Many questions still remain from the NBA, particularly if an arena can be built in three years. The leader of the California Senate says the state will not get in the way of building a new arena for the Kings.

“The Legislature and the governor stepped up to pass bills to streamline the regulatory process for exactly projects like this,” Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said.

With an arena plan, an investment group led by Vivek Ranadivé, corporate sponsors and the support of Kings fans, the mayor says Sacramento has answered all of the NBA’s requests.

“Everything they’ve asked us to do along the way we, as a community, have made good on that,” said Johnson.

It’s what Steinberg believes gives the Capital City the advantage.

“This is not about the NBA choosing where to locate a new expansion franchise,” he said.

Maybe not, but this group needs to prove that Sacramento will be better for the NBA than Seattle.

Here’s a look at some of the key dates in April:
– 17: Kings play their final regular season game in Sacramento.
– 18-19: NBA Board of Governors meeting.

During the Board of Governors meeting, NBA owners are expected to vote on the proposed sale of the Kings to the Seattle group at that time. However, NBA Commissioner David Stern said the league may need more time than the April 18-19 deadline to decide which city will get the Kings.


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