Rep. Matsui Seeks to Keep Kings in Sacramento


SACRAMENTO — Following the announcement on Monday that the Sacramento Kings will remain in Sacramento for at least one more season, Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) released the following statement:

“Today’s announcement shows what the Sacramento community is capable of when it works together. Over the past 25 years, the Kings have built a very loyal fan base throughout our region, and the dedication and support that their fans and business community have shown over the past few months has been nothing short of incredible.

“I look forward to continuing to work with Mayor Kevin Johnson and other local leaders to keep the Kings here for the long term. Sacramento is a great city, and I am confident that over the next few months elected officials, the business community, and local residents will keep working together.”

City News Service reported that the Kings dropped plans to ask the NBA for permission to move to Anaheim because of opposition from the league. Officials from Anaheim Arena Management had been in negotiations with the team’s owners, the Maloof family, since September.

Monday was the deadline for the Kings to request permission to move.

“Out of respect to Kings fans and the regional business community, we have decided to remain in Sacramento for the 2011-12 season,” a statement released by Maloof Sports and Entertainment said.

The Maloof family has been frustrated for years by an inability to get a new arena built for the team, which has played at the recently renamed Power Balance Pavilion since 1988.

The arena is the smallest in the NBA, with a capacity of 17,137, and is tied with Milwaukee’s Bradley Center and The Palace at Auburn Hills, the home of the Detroit Pistons, as the third oldest in the league behind New York’s Madison Square Garden and Oracle Arena in Oakland.

Sacramento voters rejected a sales tax increase in 2006 to fund a new arena.

The Anaheim City Council voted unanimously March 29 to issue up to $75 million in bonds for improvements at Honda Center to help induce the Kings to move there.