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NBA group rolls into Sacramento this week

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A National Basketball Association committee will arrive in Sacramento this week to study the possibility of keeping the Kings here.

Reports surfaced Monday that a group of six would be coming here Tuesday to get more information about new financial support for the Kings. On Friday at the NBA Board of Governors meeting in New York, NBA Commissioner David Stern said team owners agreed to learn more about corporate sponsorships and other money that may be available to help the Kings make more money in Sacramento.

The only information that could be confirmed was that Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett, who chairs the board’s Relocation Committee, and NBA Executive Counsel Harvey Benjamin will be here Thursday and Friday, according to Tim Frank, the NBA’s senior vice president of basketball communications.

An agenda has not been set yet, he said.

The Maloof family, which owns or controls a majority share of the Sacramento Kings, has been exploring a possible move to Anaheim. Last week, the NBA Board of Governors agreed to a second deadline extension for the Maloofs to seek permission to move – from April 18 to May 2.

Mayor Kevin Johnson’s office is still working out meeting logistics with the NBA.

"We’re putting together the details for the upcoming meetings," mayoral spokesman Joaquin McPeek said.

At least $7 million in commitments for corporate sponsorships and suite revenues were made to Johnson and business leaders including Sacramento Metro Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Mahood shortly before the NBA Board of Governors meeting, which was held last Thursday and Friday.

The money was raised as Kings fans, Sacramento business leaders and Johnson and other city officials rally around various efforts to stop the Kings from going to Anaheim. A drive to collect about 10,000 Anaheim resident signatures and possibly block more than $75 million in bonds to help the Kings to move is going "very well" and is more than half way to its goal, said Kellen Arno of Arno Political Consultants in Carlsbad.

On Thursday, Johnson also told the NBA billionaire Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle and San Francisco investor Darius Anderson would like to buy the Kings or help the city draw another pro basketball team if the Kings move.

Mahood and others with the Metro Chamber continue to search for new corporate sponsors and suite holders to bring the Kings new revenue.

“The Sacramento Metro Chamber is currently working with the mayor’s office in the ongoing effort to demonstrate that Sacramento has been and will continue to be a viable NBA market for the Sacramento Kings," Mahood said in a prepared statement Monday.

Staff reporter Brandon Darnell contributed to this report. Suzanne Hurt is a staff reporter for the Sacramento Press. Follow her on Twitter @SuzanneHurt. 

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