SACRAMENTO, CA - The brainpower leading the efforts to keep the Sacramento Kings released a report Tuesday outlining why Sacramento is a better market than Seattle.
Think Big, a group formed two years ago when the Maloofs wanted to move the Kings to Anaheim, put out the report titled "Home Court Advantage".
A press release summarized the presentation into key findings:
The group said from 1985 to 2008, Sacramento had better attendance for 20 of 23 seasons, selling out three times more than Seattle with a worse team.
They also said Sacramento provides 100 percent market share, meaning the NBA won't have to compete for TV time, corporate sponsors, etc.
As for TV markets, when adjusted for the number of teams in a city, Sacramento ranks 2nd, Seattle ranks 25th.
"Today's report provides further proof that, pound for pound, Sacramento is one of the strongest performing markets in the NBA," Think Big's Kunal Merchant said in a statement.
The Maloofs, the majority owners of the Kings, have agreed to sell the team to a Seattle group.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has put together a counter-offer, backed by Mark Mastrov and Ron Burkle.
The NBA Board of Governors will decide which offer is better and where the team will end up in mid-April.
"They lost a team, in some respects, because they had a difficult time getting an arena deal done. That's not the case here," said Chris Lehane, an advisor to Think Big and Johnson.
"They had a situation where the fan turnout wasn't at the levels it's at here in Sacramento. Someone made a decision to leave Seattle based on the performance of Seattle. That is not the situation here," Lehane added. "So I think it's a little bit harder for them when we're doing this apples to apples or oranges to oranges comparison because we do have a good story to tell, and their story isn't anywhere near as compelling as the Sacramento story."