Sacramento businesses pitch to NBA to keep Kings

11:08 PM, Apr 21, 2011   |    comments
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  • SACRAMENTO, CA - Nearly two dozen Sacramento-area business and corporate leaders gathered late Thursday morning to make one of the biggest sales pitches of the year. 

    The customer: the NBA. 

    The pitch: all the abandoned plans and tepid support are in the past, and now the region's business community is ready to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to keeping the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento. 

    The delegation had no comment as they entered the Citizen Hotel at the end of Thursday's tour. 

    Unknown for now is how well or poorly the two NBA representatives received that pitch. The two - team owner Clay Bennett and league executive Harvey Benjamin - are in town for what the league calls a 'fact-finding' trip.

    The Sacramento Metro Chamber was one of the organizers of the meeting, but chamber president Matthew Mahood wouldn't say much about what happened. 

    In a statement released Thursday afternoon Mahood described the meeting in broad but upbeat terms. 

    "The energy in the room was so positive-it was almost electric," Mahood said. "You could feel the excitement among the business leaders present and the commitment this community has to keeping the team here." 

    That energy comes with some big money attached. 

    During the meeting, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson told Bennett and Benjamin that he has secured $9.2 million in new financial commitments from area companies should the league deny the Kings' owners request to move the team to Anaheim, according to the Chamber.

    The majority of the corporate money is coming from Synergex, Envision, Western Health and Markstien Beverages.


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