The Maloofs released a statement moments ago announcing, as has been reported, that the Kings will remain in Sacramento for the next season. In the statement the Maloofs thank the fans and Kings' employees, but include a pretty aggressive challenge to Mayor Kevin Johnson and the business community.
"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 statement reads.
That gives Sacramento less than one year to get something hammered out. The stay of execution is welcomed, even if the tone is a bit surprising in that it is a threat. The latest arena plan from the city, spearheaded by David Taylor and the ICON Group, is expected in late May. That's a feasibility study -- funding decisions will follow.
The full release is below the jump.
MALOOF SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT 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."