January 30 2022 03:30 pm

The Brief History of the Kansas City Kings

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All around the city of Sacramento you can see the phrase “1985-Forever.”

It might be in a local shop window or a bumper sticker, but it’s a motto that came around after the Sacramento Kings nearly relocated to Seattle to reestablish the late Seattle SuperSonics.

The thing is, before 1985 the Kings were NBA nomads. Between 1923 and 1985 the then “Rochester Seagrams” went on a long journey to get to Sacramento, becoming the Rochester Eber Seagrams in 1942, the Rochester Royals in 1948, the Cincinnati Royals in 1957, the Kansas City-Omaha Kings in 1972, and lastly the Kansas City Kings in 1975. Only the Atlanta Hawks have moved as many times as the Kings franchise.

The team spent a total of 13 years in the city and ultimately failed in the market. The team played at a small arena outside of city limits called Kemper Memorial Arena. It is now rarely used for sporting events at all, and its rural location makes it eerily similar to Sleep Train Arena in Natomas, eerie because of what could have been.

The Kansas City Kings were competing with the Kansas City Chiefs who were rising in popularity and the Kansas City Royals making their push for a World Series victory. The nomads left the city without a bang and found their way to Sacramento in 1985, where fans now say the team has a home for good.

Mark Demsky contributed to this report.

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