Here We Stay!

Posted on February 27, 2012

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We can all breathe easy now; the Maloofs have reached a tentative deal with the city of Sacramento and the NBA that will keep the Kings in California’s capital for years to come. After meeting for three days in Orlando, Mayor Kevin Johnson emerged with David Stern and the Maloof family, all of them smiling from ear to ear with great news for fans. Gavin Maloof cried as he spoke to reporters after the announcement.

“I think it’s great for our community,” a tearful Gavin Maloof said. “I’m glad it’s finally coming to an end after 13 years. It’s been a long road.”

Just a year ago the Maloof family threatened to move the team to Anaheim, California where they would be called the Los Angeles Royals. There are sooo many reasons why that was a stupid idea but Mayor Johnson fought tooth and nail and Sacramento fans rallied behind him to save a team that has become a large part of the city’s economic structure and sports culture.

A new arena will cost an estimated $387-million and the Maloofs have agreed to pay $75 million of that up front. Several sources have sited the old rail yard downtown as a possible location for the new complex but nothing is official, in fact all of the current negotiations are set to go before a city council vote next week.

There is so much that goes into this new deal…too much for me to figure it all out. The bottom line is that the Sacramento Kings means so much to this city and whether you are a Kings fan or not, the city as a whole will benefit from the team staying. A new arena will allow Sacramento to be a host city to NCAA tournaments, NBA All-Star Weekend and more entertainment venues overall. I know wishful thinking on the All-Star Weekend but all of those events would have great economic impacts on the city. It’s going to be well worth it in the end.

I haven’t lived in Sacramento since 2000 but this is still my city and the Kings were a big part of my child hood. I was so sad when I heard the Maloof family had drawn the lines in the sand last year, but I was more disappointed that Sacramento voters lacked the foresight to see the endless opportunities that a new complex would present.

My grandmother was a charter season ticket holder and a ride or die Sacramento Kings fan…I shared so many priceless memories with her at Arco Arena. Yes! I still call it the Arco Arena…that’s where my memories took place not Power Balance Pavilion. I remember the Grant High Pacers running the show at the CIF Playoffs, various concerts, and who can forget the Chris Webber era? That squad was awesome and I’m hoping that new facilities will help the Kings bring in some A-list athletes that will energize fans and revitalize the city.

Mayor Johnson gets mad props for stepping up and fighting for his city even though some of you doubted him and dogged him…he got the job done! I think that some people have forgotten that he grew up in Sacramento and had more riding on this move than meets the eye. I also want to tip my hat off to the fans and sponsors, you guys stepped up in a major way, you made your voices heard and you literally put your money where your mouth is…the ‘Here We Stay’ campaign proved to be successful. Teamwork definitely makes the dream work and I’m happy that our team will stay in Sacramento!

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Posted in: Basketball, NBA