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NBA’s Sac meetings will be closed

File photo: The Kings’ basketball court

The public will have to wait for information on this week’s meetings in Sacramento involving two NBA officials as the meetings will be closed to media, Mayor Kevin Johnson said at a Tuesday morning press conference.

The two NBA executives who will visit Sacramento on Thursday and Friday are Clay Bennett, relocation committee chair for the NBA Board of Governors, and NBA Executive Counsel Harvey Benjamin, said Tim Frank, an NBA spokesman.

The closed meetings relating to the Kings’ future were requested by the NBA, Johnson said.

“They felt that they didn’t want a lot of fanfare,” Johnson said.

However, Johnson said he would meet with the local media to communicate information about the meetings after the NBA executives leave town.

“As soon as they leave, we’ll get right back in the room and tell (the media) all that (the NBA) is comfortable sharing,” Johnson said. “Certainly, I want our community, first and foremost, to know exactly where we stand.”

Johnson said that he wants to show the visiting NBA officials three things – that the team has corporate support, the Sacramento market is viable, and the city has a “clear path” for a new sports complex.

“They’re going to look at Sacramento and we get a chance to put our best foot forward,” Johnson said.

The NBA officials will also be introduced to regional Sacramento leaders, he said.

Johnson declined to name the businesspeople who pledged $7 million to the Kings in corporate sponsorships and suite revenues last week. He said he would identify them “at the appropriate time,” and that they will meet with the NBA executives before making any public announcements. 

“I think we have an obligation to introduce the corporate sponsors to the NBA delegation that’s out here first,” Johnson said.

Staff reporter Suzanne Hurt contributed to this report. Kathleen Haley is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press.

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