We had some requests for a fanpost about what the HereWeStayNY and Crown Downtown crew experienced today at the St. Regis in NYC, so here's a quick recap.
Our group started showing up at 8:30am and stuck it out until 6:30pm. It was a long day of standing, waiting, and draining our phone batteries refreshing Twitter and snapping pics. The temperature hovered between the mid 30s and 40s all day. Still, we estimate we had around 30 people rotating in and out throughout the day. It was awesome meeting new fans and the people who have been joining our Facebook group since we started it in January.
We were all honored to be there representing our hometown, even though nearly all of us live 3000 miles away. Many conversations were had about how we want to move back to Sacramento and hope the arena will be a catalyst to development that would make that transition possible.
Stern and Clay Bennett came early, through the front door, and didn't stop to talk to anyone. They were in the St. Regis for a good amount of time before Seattle's group started appearing. Soon McGinnis showed and we found out on Twitter that Hansen, Ballmer, and the Maloofs were inside, courtesy of the backdoor at the St. Regis. From being at two of these meetings, the Maloofs exclusively use the backdoor at the St. Regis.
Then things got exciting as the black cars with our white knights started arriving. First was the vehicle with Vivek and Mastrov who stepped out and into a frenzy of SAC/SEA news crews and fans chanting SAC-RA-MENTO. We wanted to get the key players excited and give them any more confidence and encouragement we could. Mastrov smiled, fist pumped and they walked into the hotel.
Next KJ and Steinberg appeared into a similar situation. They were equally happy to see and hear our ~15 strong group at the time. KJ shared some words with everyone, then went in to handle business.
The Recreation Vehicle
From Twitter, we knew Carmichael Dave was approaching the hotel and when we saw that purple RV come around the corner, I think all of our jaws dropped. It's a big truck. It's a very big truck for the streets of Manhattan. Parking spots do not really exist in front of the St. Regis. But, they had acquired special permission to park and 'unload' right in front of the main doors of the hotel. I wasn't sure what they told the hotel they were unloading, but it was probably all the emotions of driving for two weeks straight.
CD popped out to an amazingly large crowd and the largest SAC-RA-MENTO chants this side of the Sierra Nevadas. RV signing commenced and everyone was glowing with excitement of the arrival of the whole Sacramento team.
After a bit of silence, Vivek appeared about 20 minutes prior to when the Sac presentation was set to start. He wanted to sign the RV, which had been moved down the street, a block away. So Vivek, his people, CD and some camera crew started walking and we decided to tag along. He got to the vehicle and wrote "Sac Kings Rock! - Vivek".
Then he shook all of our hands and thanked us all individually. Pretty damn awesome display of his appreciation for the fan support from Sacramento. Then, he walked back to the hotel and did the presentation.
Quiet and the End
Then things got quiet and it got colder outside as the sun started to disappear. There was a big lull as the Sac team presented until the SEA presser started. At this time the lone Sonics fan appeared. She was really friendly and we all talked with her about expansion, which is a subject we all can agree on.
When the SAC presser started, we fired up a few iPhones with the News10/KHTK feeds and gathered around like it was a small fire keeping us warm.
Soon Vivek, Mastrov, Steinberg, Phil Oates and Kevin Nagle came out individually. All of them expressed their gratitude for us being there and inspiring them during the presentation. It was really appreciated, but all of us just felt like we were just doing our part. Still, it was great to get their sincere thanks.
Finally, KJ came out after the NBA presser to all of us cheering him and the mountains he moves. Again, he shook all our hands, thanked us each and told us about how they could hear us chanting upstairs when they were prepping and during the meeting!! Hell yeah!
What a way to conclude a very long day for everyone. Oh wait, that wasn't the end. Phil Oates gave us money to go buy pizza (!), so we went to a nearby pizza shop and recounted all of the day's events.
What an experience! So proud to have been there and for all of us to do our small part in this neverending saga. Also, so happy to have finally met Sactown Mike, Tom Huddle, and many of the new members to HereWeStayNY. Let's keep fighting Sacramento!!