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Kings leaving would affect Natomas businesses

5:10 PM, Apr 12, 2011   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA. - The Sacramento Kings equal big business for the city, and more specifically for the Natomas community.

According to the city of Sacramento, losing the Kings could mean anywhere from $66 million to $188 million a year.

The Chair of the Natomas Chamber's Arena Committee Marni Leger said if the Kings move to Anaheim it would be devastating.

"Many Natomas businesses moved here specifically with the Arena in mind as far as helping their business," Leger said.

That was the case for Clark Rupp, owner of Straw Hat Pizza, located just down the road from the Power Balance Pavilion.

Although Rupp does not want to see the Kings go, he said times have changed, and these days it's certainly about more than just the Kings and their 41 home games.

"I think right now the economy is driving people's habits more than anything else," Rupp said. "They come in, do their event at the Arena, and then leave. Whereas, maybe four, five years ago, it was kind of like, let's go to dinner, let's go to the event."

Rupp believes if the Kings move to Orange County, his business would be impacted the most, ironically, when the economy improves.

Currently, in Natomas, there are plenty of vacant and available properties for rent and sale, including homes.

Jose Garcia has been a resident and business owner in Natomas for 10 years. Garcia is a mortgage professional. The Garcia group assists families in obtaining home loans. Garcia believes having the Kings right in your backyard is a huge selling point.

"It definitely drives in more opportunity and more recognition to the local community, more spending, more investment," Garcia said.

According to Garcia, if the Kings leave it would have a negative impact on the area.

"If there's less activity, as far as economic investment in the local community, there's going to be less individuals to move in the local area," Garcia said. "As how that impacts us is, there's going to be less individuals needing financing for residential home loans."

While true fans still hold out hope, Leger said if the Kings leave, at the very least two things are key: One, keeping the Power Balance Pavilion in Natomas, and two, keeping it busy.

"If for some reason the Maloofs are able to keep scheduling events at the arena, I believe now there are more than 200 days a year there are events at the arena, then that's traffic coming into to Natomas, supporting Natomas businesses, than the impact wouldn't be as great," Leger said.

News10/KXTV

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