City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

April 19, 2011
Regional leaders to meet on effort to keep Kings in Sacramento

Thumbnail image for 20110315_ha_johnson3086.JPGMayor Kevin Johnson will meet with regional political leaders on Wednesday in an attempt to show the NBA that Sacramento isn't alone in the drive to keep the Kings.

Details of the meeting are still being worked out, but it is expected to involve representatives from across the six-county region. A delegation of NBA officials in town later this week will also be introduced to some of the regional leaders.

"(The NBA) is going to want to know what's different this time than the previous times when we've tried to do a new entertainment and sports complex and failed, and I think there's a political will and leadership," the mayor told reporters this morning.

Past failed attempts at building a new arena - the key element of keeping pro basketball in town - have been driven by City Hall and city leaders. "It will be different this time," Johnson said.

An NBA attorney and the chair of the league's relocation committee arrive in town on Thursday and will be updated on progress made on an arena study here, as well as the business community's commitment of $7 million in sponsorships to an NBA team. A fan rally is also being planned.

The Maloof family, owners of the Kings, have until May 2 to ask the league's permission to move to Anaheim. The league last week extended the team's deadline to seek relocation after Johnson appeared before the NBA Board of Governors.

While pleased that the city has extra time to prove itself as a better fit for the Kings than Anaheim, Johnson said today "by no means are we declaring victory and do we feel like were even close to being victorious."

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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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