Sacramento Group Makes Pitch to NBA
Shortly after the Seattle ownership group gave their presentation the NBA Board of Governors on Wednesday afternoon, the Sacramento ownership group countered and gave a pitch of their own to the Board of Governors.
Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson couldn’t have been happier with how the presentation went. As he entered the interview room to address the media, he was applauding.
“I’m proud of everyone who represented Sacramento,” Johnson said. “I can truly say we had our A-team and we brought our A-game. I’m proud to be the mayor of Sacramento. The NBA let us tell our story. … We got a chance to lay out, what we feel, is a very compelling case.”
Johnson said that the Sacramento group’s presentation focused on three key points.
First, the group made it clear that Sacramento has a historically strong market. Johnson cited the team’s excellent corporate participation and fan support, as well as the fact that they’re a one-team town with a top-20 television market.
Second, the group said that there would be a new arena for the Kings. Johnson said that the city is prepared to make a significant investment to make this happen. The group feels confident on this front since business magnate Ron Burkle is leading the way. Johnson cited his excellent track record since he delivered a new arena to Pittsburgh as part-owner of the Penguins.
Finally, the group showed they have plenty of local support. Senator Darrell Steinberg took a red-eye flight to be part of the group’s meeting with the Board of Governors. Johnson said that the Senator’s presence shows that the local government supports the plan to build a new arena.
Johnson left the meeting with the NBA feeling very confident. The group argued that the Sacramento market has been more successful than the Seattle market over the last few decades and that the case for Sacramento is more compelling than the case for Seattle. Johnson believes the Sacramento group has done everything asked of them to keep the Kings.
“We’re talking about the revitalization of a community. We’re talking about the globalization of a franchise. We’re talking about a transformation of a team,” Johnson said. “We left it all on the floor. It’s ultimately in their hands. I’m very proud.”