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Kings to stay in Sacramento – for now

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The owners of the Sacramento Kings have decided to keep the team here for at least the next season, they announced Monday morning.

The team’s owners, led by the Maloof family had a deadline of 2 p.m. Monday to file a request to move the team.

In an announcement emailed shortly after 9 a.m. Monday, the Maloofs said fan support and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s push to get a new arena built were instrumental in the decision.

"The fans’ spirit and energy, specifically our season ticket holders, has been remarkable and we are truly thankful for their loyalty," they said in the prepared statement. "We also are greatly appreciative of the support from our corporate sponsors as well as other local businesses that have come forward in recent weeks."

National Basketball Association officials have indicated they will support the team moving next year if a new arena cannot be built to replace Power Balance Pavilion.

"However, if an arena plan cannot be finalized in a timely fashion, the NBA’s relocation committee has assured Maloof Sports and Entertainment that it will support an application to move the franchise to another market starting in 2012-13,” the statement said.

The team’s owners have no plans to hold a press conference, said a Kings spokesman.

Johnson said Friday local officials hoped a regionally coordinated effort to build a new arena would make enough of a difference that the National Basketball Association and the Maloofs would not move the team to Anaheim for at least a year, giving the region a chance to move forward with the city’s arena effort.

Johnson has scheduled a press conference for 11 a.m. at City Hall, 915 I St.

The decision to keep the team in the state capital came after an NBA fact-finding visit here in the last two weeks.

Last week, billionaire Henry Samueli, whose company manages Anaheim’s Honda Center, upped the ante when he offered to personally invest more than $70 million for improvements at Anaheim’s Honda Center and provide a personal loan of at least $75 million to the Maloofs.

The Sacramento Press will report on the mayor’s press conference later today.
 

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