City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

January 13, 2013
Fan efforts organizing in attempt to keep Sacramento Kings here

Sacramento Kings fans are stepping up their efforts to save their team.

Led by local radio personality Carmichael Dave - whose real name is Dave Weiglein - some of the fans who have worked the past two years to keep the team in town launched a website this morning asking for other fans to pledge to buy season ticket packages should new local owners for the franchise emerge. The movement, Dave said, is aimed at "proving that this market is not only viable, it is rabid and really has been jerked around by the current ownership situation."

Fans can go to HereWeBuy.org to pledge season ticket purchases. If a new ownership group keeps the team in town and builds a new arena, that list will be given to the Kings' sales staff.

Local businesses can also pledge sponsorships at the website.

The website is part of a growing fan effort to get involved in the Kings' uncertain future after news broke last week that the Maloof family, who own the team, were in talks to sell the franchise to a group in Seattle that would move the Kings to the Emerald City.

At the same time, Mayor Kevin Johnson is working to assemble ownership groups that would try to keep the team here. Some names of interested owners have already emerged, including Bay Area investor Mark Mastrov, the founder of 24 Hour Fitness.

"We're just trying to provide (the potential local owners) with enough cover and support as possible," Dave said. "It's so frustrating to be stuck in the middle like children in a marriage that's falling apart and not be able to do anything. This is the people end of the movement."

Another group of fans has also started an online petition asking NBA Commissioner David Stern to allow a local ownership group to match any offer made by the Seattle group for the Kings. As of Sunday night, that petition had gathered more than 7,300 signatures.

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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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