Mayor KJ Lays Out Keys to Keeping Kings

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Mayor Johnson Changes Tune on Arena Renovation

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During the “State of Downtown” Breakfast Tuesday morning, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson presented his guidelines to find a new owner for the Kings.

“We need ownership with resources,” said Johnson, basically saying they need deep pockets.

He also said potential owners must keep the team in Sacramento and understand that building a new arena isn’t an option but a must.

Johnson also added owners must have local partners, “investors are fine, but we don’t want an absentee owner.”

Finally, in a surprise announcement, that may be to make the pot sweeter for the current owner, Johnson said the Maloofs, if they choose, can still be a part of  the organization in some capacity, even under new ownership.

A rumored deal between the Maloofs and a group in Seattle reportedly leaves the brothers without a say in the new team.

“We are in a six-week sprint, the March 1st deadline, is fast approaching,” Johnson said regarding the NBA’s deadline for a team to submit and application for relocation.

The mayor said he has also spoken with NBA Commissioner David Stern recently, and an aid for the mayor said he will be meeting with the NBA’s Board of Governors later this week to express his plan.

Later in the afternoon Monday, Mayor Johnson released a statement about his “Playing to Win” plan:

“This morning I unveiled out ‘Playing to Win’ plan which is modeled on the successful strategy used by the City of San Francisco to keep the Giants and revitalize a section of the city’s downtown. Over the next six weeks, we will put together a competitive ownership group, which will include local partners, that is committed to keeping the Kings in Sacramento and building a world-class entertainment and sports complex. This effort will culminate with Sacramento once again going before the NBA Board of Governors to demonstrate the strength of our city as an NBA market and the unique opportunity the Kings have to thrive in our community.”

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