Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson
SACRAMENTO, CA - Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, as well as members of the region's business community, revealed that $9.2 million in corporate money had been pledged toward keeping the Kings in Sacramento.
That revelation came shortly after a meeting with the NBA's fact- finding team, headed up by Oklahoma City Thunder principle owner Clay Bennett and NBA attorney Harvey Benjamin. That's $2.2 million more than Johnson initially told the league could be pledged when he met with the NBA Board of Governors last week.
"Probably two weeks ago most of us thought the Sacramento Kings were moving to Anaheim," Matt Mahood, President and CEO of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce said. "But I believe through our efforts and Mayor Johnson's leadership, Sacramento put a stake in the ground today saying the Sacramento Kings need to stay here."
Johnson said the goal for the NBA is to find out whether the corporate community would support the Kings and can the Sacramento community put together a strategy to build a new entertainment and sports complex. Bennett and Benjamin are scheduled to meet with developer David Taylor/ICON Venue Group Thursday afternoon about the feasibility study the group is conducting for a new arena in Sacramento.
Johnson said the NBA officials didn't give any commitments to the city about the Kings staying in Sacramento but that he expected a decision on an relocation application expected to be filed by the Kings owners, the Maloofs, no later than May 2.
"What we've said is we're going to give you our very best but if this team is staying we want to be able to outreach to our community, our ticket holders, that we want them to renew and we want other people to start coming to games," Johnson said.
COVERAGE: Kingdom Crumbles?