The Orange County Register reported first and several other news sources, including Sports Illustrated and the Sacramento Bee, have confirmed with the Maloofs: the Kings officially will stay in Sacramento.
Official Team Statement:
“Out of respect to Kings fans and the regional business community, we have decided to remain in Sacramento for the 2011-12 season. The fans’ spirit and energy, specifically our season ticket holders, has been remarkable and we are truly thankful for their loyalty. We also are greatly appreciative of the support from our corporate sponsors as well as other local businesses that have come forward in recent weeks.
Additionally, we would like to take this opportunity to send a heartfelt thank you to the loyal and hardworking team members within our organization. From the game night staff to the front office, coaches, and players, we are grateful for their professionalism and devotion.
During this process, Mayor Johnson has strongly indicated to both the community and the NBA that he is capable of getting the support to build a state-of-the-art entertainment and sports facility that the Sacramento Region and the tremendous Kings fans so rightly deserve. We look forward to seeing Mayor Johnson bring his vision to reality. However, if an arena plan cannot be finalized in a timely fashion, the NBA¹s relocation committee has assured Maloof Sports and Entertainment that it will support an application to move the franchise to another market starting in 2012-13.”
The NBA is expected to issue a statement later this morning regarding the decision. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is expected to hold a press conference at 11 am sharing his thoughts as well.
This ends the saga which first started in January when details of a deal between the Maloofs & Anaheim first leaked in a report by Sacramento radio station KFBK
. The story heated up following All-Star break when Commissioner David Stern confirmed that talks between the Kings & Anaheim were indeed true. All signs pointed to a move to Anaheim until momentum shifted in Sacramento's favor following Johnson's reportedly impressive financial presentation at the NBA Board of Governors meetings.
Now attention officially shifts toward Sacramento's efforts to build a new arena. The capital city and its surrounding region has one year to prove to the NBA that a new entertainment-and-sports complex can be constructed to replace the antiquated Power Balance Pavilion. Or else, this decision may turn out to be just a temporary reprieve from a Kings move elsewhere.