With the Sacramento Kings on the verge of possibly ending their almost 30-year tenure in the Capitol, fans aren’t going down without a fight.
“The chances that the Kings are staying are really slim,” said Eddie Montes, part of the Here We Stay campaign to keep the Kings in Sacramento. “It’ll be better to go out swinging, throw a couple punches and maybe land something, and have a miracle.”
Here We Stay is organizing a small demonstration at City Hall at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday before the scheduled City Council meeting.
Montes said he estimates anywhere from 15 to 35 people will show up.
“We honestly don’t know how many people will come,” he said. “We just want to make sure the council members know we’re here and we still want to fight.”
Blake Ellington, founder of the Here We Stay campaign, said he isn’t willing to sit idly as the mid-April decision by the NBA Board of Governors draws closer.
“They aren’t gone yet, so as far as right now, they’re still the Sacramento Kings, and this rally … a lot of the fans wanted to do this, so we’re organizing it for them,” he said.
Fans, spurred on by Here We Stay, sold out the Feb. 28 game against the Los Angeles Clippers, and Ellington said a similar plan is in the works for the second-to-last home game, when the Kings will play the Oklahoma City Thunder on April 11.
“We want them to have another game where they can show everyone they want the Kings to stay,” he said, adding that the final home game against the Los Angeles Lakers is one that will likely be harder to get tickets to.
For Tuesday’s protest, fans are meeting in front of Old City Hall at 915 I St.
“We hope people from the Feb. 28 game against the Clippers will come with the posters they had and get loud out front before the (City Council) meeting,” he said, adding that he plans to have about five people speak to the council regarding the team.
“We’re meeting in front of the Old City Hall on I Street so people can do some chants and have their posters out so the traffic can see them,” he said.
After that, they will go into the new City Hall, which is adjacent to Old City Hall.
Kings fan Rob Small will be at the rally.
“They’re basically out the door right now,” he said. “If everything goes according to plan with the move to Anaheim, it’s pretty much a done deal.”
Despite that, he said he will do anything he can to help the Kings stay.
“I expect a lot of Kings support over there,” he said, referring to City Hall. “This is an NBA city, and we deserve an NBA team.”
Small said he will be at the game against the Thunder on April 11, as well as the game Wednesday and what could be the Kings’ final game in Sacramento against the Lakers.
Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press.