City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

February 8, 2013
Fan groups seek to sell out Saturday's Kings game

Seeking to send to the NBA a message that Sacramento supports the Kings, fan groups are working to sell out Saturday's home game.

The game - dubbed "Here We Buy Night" by fan groups - comes at a pivotal moment in the city's fight to keep the Kings. A group in Seattle has reached a binding agreement to buy the team and has filed a request with the NBA to relocate the franchise to the Pacific Northwest for the 2013-14 season.

Part of the fan effort was a fundraising drive that took in enough donations to buy 626 tickets for local kids and their families. The effort raised $9,402 and was coordinated by the Here We Stay fan group, former King Donte Greene's COS Foundation, 3Fold Communications and the Center for Fathers and Families.

"The reaction was awesome, especially when the kids heard what a big deal the game is going to be," said one of the donation drive's organizers, Kevin Fippin, who dropped off tickets at six schools on Thursday.

Tickets were distributed this week at 20 local schools and community centers.

Meanwhile, Mayor Kevin Johnson is recruiting deep-pocketed investors to make a counter-offer for the Kings - a pitch that will be considered by the NBA. The league's owners will ultimately decide the fate of the team.

Johnson also plans to argue to the league that Sacramento's fan base has been more supportive of the Kings than fans in Seattle were of the SuperSonics, who left Seattle for Oklahoma City in 2008.

"We want to fill up that arena (Saturday night) and show the NBA this is a viable market and we support our team," Fippin said.

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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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