SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) – Sacramento Kings co-owner Joe Maloof told The Associated Press that the NBA club will remain in Sacramentof or at least one more season to give Mayor Kevin Johnson a chance to follow through on his promise for a new arena.
“The mayor of Sacramento has told the NBA relocation committee that he will have a plan for a new arena within a year,” Maloof said Monday. “If not, the team will be relocated to another city.”
The team had been considering a move to Anaheim.
“I think it’s the fair thing to do,” Maloof said. “We’ve always said we think Sacramento has the best NBA fans in the world. Their overwhelming show of support was incredible. But now they realize that we’re giving them another opportunity and we’re anxious to play basketball.”
Last week, Sacramento’s corporate community handed NBA representatives deposits on more than $10 million in sponsorship pledges for the Kings to stay at least another year.
“We spent 13 years and millions of dollars to try to get an arena built,” Maloof said. “We don’t have the answer. The mayor has the answers and we’re willing and able to listen. He’s got to have a plan. We never want to be untruthful to the fans of Sacramento. There is a sense of urgency, and that’s up to mayor Johnson and his political team.”
The Maloofs explored relocation because of several failed efforts to build a new arena in Sacramento. A feasibility study for a new arena isn’t scheduled to be completed until the end of May, and there has always been a divide between Kings fans and the broader public on how to finance an arena.
Maloof said he appreciated the support and encouragement from Anaheim officials.
“I am sure that Anaheim will have a team some day,” he said.
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