Kings fans have heard about it for a while: the Sacramento Kings are likely moving up north to Seattle. Back in February 2011, officials confessed that plans to relocate were being considered, and it seems like those plans might actually take effect. ESPN reports that the move became official as of Wednesday upon the announcement by NBA commissioner David Stern before the game in Minnesota. In his statement he explained that Seattle frontmen Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer have filed the paperwork to relocate the Sacramento team, nearly a month before the relocation deadline of March 1st.
Just because the paperwork has been filed doesn’t mean California is losing it’s team just yet. Stern commented that the relocation application is “very strong,” but Sacramento isn’t going to give up their team without a fight. In an effort to hold onto their beloved Kings, the mayor found around two dozen investors who are willing to put in $1 million each to save the Kings. Still, the campaign to keep the Kings is in the shadows as investors have not been announced. Should the investors go through with their endorsement, they would be able to decide the site of a new Kings arena: Downtown Railyard or the Downtown Plaza Mall.
Why would investors and fans put in so much work to keep the Kings in Sacramento? To begin with, the basketball team has been located in California’s capital city since 1985. Since then they have built up countless local fans. Following the initial rumors to move the team, Sacramento’s mayor announced million dollar investments that kept the team in Sacramento a little while longer. The Kings remained in Sacramento for the 2011-2012 season, under the condition that they would relocate in 2013 unless the city built a new stadium.
Another thing to consider about why Sacramento would want to hold onto the team is their value. Forbes rates the Kings as the #11 NBA team at a total value of $525 million. It makes sense for the city to invest money in keeping the team local and building a new stadium when they can bring in revenue from games. Although losing the Kings to Seattle would be unfortunate for Sacramento, they still have plenty to fall back on.
Other Californian teams can’t get too wrapped up in losing the Kings when they have their own seasons to worry about. Los Angeles teams the Lakers and the Clippers are on a rollercoaster of winning streaks and losses– not only of games but of players. It’s hard to tell how these teams will be able to finish up the season, but it’s clear that they are going to have to give it all they’ve got and win by any means necessary. It’s not a journey that fans want to miss. Basketball fans can get Lakers tickets, along with other teams, to see how these players can fare in their remaining games.