Sacramento, CA — Senator Ted Gaines, who represents Calaveras County, is part of a group hoping to make it difficult for the Kings to leave Sacramento.
The Maloof family, which owns the Kings, has actively been exploring moving the NBA franchise to Anaheim. The Maloof’s have until Monday to make a formal request to the NBA. They are planning to move the team into the Honda Arena, after trying for years to build a new complex in Sacramento.
Gaines, a Republican, and three other Sacramento area lawmakers, including Democratic Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg, have sent a letter to NBA Commissioner David Stern asking him to reject any request by the Maloofs to move the franchise out of Sacramento. The letter reads, “We stand unified with our civic partners at the state, regional, city and county level to work together over the course of the next year, exploring all options, to build a new performing arts and sports arena complex that will be necessary to retain the Kings franchise here in Sacramento.”
The letter was sent the same day that the Senate Judiciary Committee passed SB 652, a bill that requires sports franchises to pay off existing debt to a municipality before that team can sign a relocation agreement in a different California city. The bill was introduced by Steinberg and co-authored by Gaines and others. It still must be approved by the Assembly and Senate in order to go into law. The Maloofs have yet to pay off a $77 million loan from the City of Sacramento.