SACRAMENTO, CA - APRIL 13: Fans of the Sacramento Kings hold up signs against the Los Angeles Lakers on April 13, 2011 at Power Balence Pavilion in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
We, the founders of the Here We Stay grassroots movement to keep the Kings in Sacramento, are disheartened by the news that the Maloof family removed their support of a plan to build a new entertainment and sports complex in the downtown railyards.
Here We Stay has fought for this cause for nearly two years because Sacramento is one of the best markets in the country for NBA basketball - selling out 19 of 27 seasons and showing a dedication rarely seen in professional sports. We have worked hard to educate, rally and mobilize the people of Sacramento in an effort to hold on to what we believe is a community treasure in the Kings.
The city of Sacramento, Anschutz Entertainment Group, ICON-Taylor group, NBA and the Maloofs had a plan for a new entertainment and sports complex that would bring jobs, economic activity and civic pride to our region. This plan was agreed upon by all parties in February.
While we understand why some fans want to boycott games, we as a fan group believe the players and staff of the Kings organization should not be punished for business matters out of their control. We appreciate that the Maloofs have stated that they are committed to Sacramento and do not intend to relocate in the foreseeable future. However, we request that the Maloofs commit to Sacramento in actions rather than words by guaranteeing in writing that they will not file for relocation in the next three years.
The new entertainment and sports complex was always about more than basketball, even if basketball lay at the heart of our movement. The destruction of this deal not only threatens our team's future but also damaged our opportunity to revitalize Sacramento's downtown, to bring events such as the Winter Olympics to Northern California and to ensure future generations of Sacramentans can enjoy top-flight entertainment in their own city. These are things we must, as a community, stay focused on.
Here We Stay continues to be dedicated to keeping NBA basketball in Sacramento and building a new entertainment and sports complex. We greatly appreciate the efforts of Mayor Kevin Johnson over the last year and all of the parties in this deal that have been willing to put in a financial commitment to make our region a better place. We hope a resolution is reached because we as a region have come too far to walk away now.
Here We Stay takes solace in the fact that the team is still the SACRAMENTO Kings for the foreseeable future, and it is our job to push to keep it that way.
We encourage Kings fans to stay with us in the fight to keep this region's only professional sports franchise and support a plan to help build our way out of the economic downturn.
Here We Stay