Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson
SACRAMENTO, CA - Mayor Kevin Johnson said the owners of the Sacramento Kings are working to "make a deal happen in Anaheim," and admitted there's not much Sacramento can do as a community to keep the team in town.
"We cannot control the decision the Maloofs will make," Johnson said at his weekly news conference Tuesday.
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Johnson said his "end game" changed when he learned the Maloofs were in serious discussions to move the Kings to Anaheim. The mayor's plan now is building a new sports and entertainment complex in Sacramento, with or without the Kings.
The mayor's comments echoed the stance announced last week by the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, and the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Johnson said embarking on a new arena is not for the sake of the Kings or the Maloofs, but for the city and the hundreds of jobs that would be created.
He said an entertainment and sports complex would take four years to build, and Sacramento would then be in a position to lure another team to town should the Kings leave.
"If we don't build an entertainment-sports complex, we will never be a major league city," Johnson said.