City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

March 3, 2011
Is Sacramento losing hope of keeping the Kings?

Could it be that Sacramento is powerless in the fight to keep the Kings?

Mayor Kevin Johnson certainly seems to think so. At an afternoon press conference, the mayor said he does "not think Sacramento can influence the outcome" of the Maloofs' decision on whether to move the team to Anaheim.

There's a couple of reasons Johnson is saying that about the team's owners.

First, the mayor met with the Maloofs on Wednesday night at Power Balance Pavilion. He asked them whether they would be willing to sell the team and they replied "absolutely not," the mayor said.

"So for anybody out there who's wondering, they have no desire to sell the Sacramento Kings to a local ownership group or an ownership group anywhere," Johnson said.

Second, the Maloofs told the mayor they were not willing to hand over pivotal financial documents to developer David Taylor and arena builder ICON Venue Group, who are working on a study for the city to see if building a new facility here is even possible.

Johnson took that as a sign that the Maloofs "are fully exploring their options, which appears to be Anaheim."

Still, the mayor believes, "If the dust settles, and Anaheim is not where they end up, they would 100 percent be willing to sit down with the ICON/Taylor group moving forward."

The mayor is saying the Kings are more likely to go to Anaheim than they are to stay at this point. Kings fans, have you given up hope?

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at rlillis@sacbee.com

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