SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — For the first time in three years the threat of the Sacramento Kings possibly leaving town isn’t looming over the city’s head when the team closes out its season.
It wasn’t too long ago that doubt ruled in Sacramento. In 2011, tears flowed, and looks of worry ran rampant as the Kings looked to be on their way to Anaheim.
But NBA owners would reject the attempted move by then-owners, the Maloofs.
While that victory meant another year in Sacramento, the worry wasn’t over yet. Rumors of the team moving to Virginia Beach surfaced in 2012. Then in January 2013, the biggest threat of all—Seattle.
A group led by Seattle-based hedge fund manager Chris Hansen had apparently reached a deal with the Maloofs.
But a savior would appear from the Silicon Valley in the form of Vivek Ranadive, who offered to take the reins of the team, as long as its reign continued in Sacramento.
The 29 other NBA owners would decide the fate of the team, opting to keep them in Sacramento. With Seattle no longer an option, the Maloofs would strike a then-record deal with Ranadive for $535 million.
Former Sacramento King Mitch Richmond is happy to see the team whose jersey he’ll be wearing in the Hall of Fame will be staying put for years to come.
“It feels great. I’m overjoyed,” he said. “Every day is a new day. I wake up and I get closer to the induction, to my speech, so I have to go back and reminisce on all the great people that have touched my life.”
The decision by the NBA came with a caveat—a new arena needs to be constructed by 2017, or owners said they could revisit the issue.
The property where a new downtown arena appears to be in place. A final vote by the Sacramento City Council on the arena, which comes with a $258 million subsidy from the city, is expected on May 13.
A conflict over the former Macy’s Men’s store appears to have been resolved after a judge ruled in favor of the city of Sacramento claiming the property under eminent domain. Terms of the compensation for the property’s owners have yet to be finalized.
If all goes as planned, construction should begin this fall after Downtown Plaza is demolished during the summer.