Report: Sacramento’s Business Community Wants New Owners for the Kings

by April 12, 2012

It’s not just the city of Sacramento’s political leaders that are fed up with the Maloofs – who continue to wrangle over the increasingly contentious new arena deal — but the business folks aren’t happy with them either. Reports the Sac Bee: “A group of 25 Sacramento business people will send a letter to the NBA today asking it to consider new ownership for the Sacramento Kings. They’re firing off their letter on the same day that the Maloofs, who own the Kings, plan to appear before the league’s board of governors to argue that the NBA’s deal with the city to build a new arena needs more negotiating. NBA Commissioner David Stern, who helped broker the tentative deal with the city, is also expected to brief the league owners today on the status of the deal. A spokesman for the Sacramento business group, Gregory Hayes, a member of Mayor Kevin Johnson’s Think Big Sacramento organization, said it will hold a news conference this morning near the site of the proposed arena in the downtown railyard. Hayes said his group includes developers, restaurant owners and downtown business owners. He declined to offer further details, other than saying in a press statement that the group will express its position on the future ownership of the team. But a source who declined to speak publicly before the news conference said the group intends to issue a letter saying it appreciates what the Maloof family has done with the team but that, to make an arena deal happen, the group believes it is best to have new owners with a long-term commitment to Sacramento. NBA spokesman Mike Bass said the league hasn’t seen the letter and can’t comment on it. A spokesman for the Kings, Eric Rose, declined to comment directly about the group but said the Kings owners are committed to making a deal in Sacramento and do not intend to sell. ‘The Kings’ position has not changed,’ Rose said. ‘They desire to stay in Sacramento and are working diligently toward that end. And the Kings are not for sale.'”