Seven Years Ago Today: NBA Owners Vote To Keep Kings In Sacramento
On this date in 2013, the city of Sacramento was told that the Kings will stay right where they belong
For what seemed like a thousand years, the Sacramento Kings were the team that was always attached to relocation rumors.
Virginia City. Anaheim. Las Vegas. Seattle.
After making the playoffs in eight straight seasons, the Kings had fallen on tough times after compiling losing seasons from 2006-2013. The Maloof family, the owners of the franchise, had financially handcuffed themselves and were looking to sell their majority stake of ownership.
In the spring of 2012, a deal for a new arena between Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson and the Maloofs quickly deteriorated, putting the Kings’ fate in question.
In early January of 2013, reports surfaced of an agreement between the Maloofs and an investor group located in Seattle–who lost their franchise to Oklahoma City in 2008– headed by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Sacramento would fight, led by Johnson and a core group of investors headed by CEO of TIBCO Vivek Ranadive, who would submit an offer to match the record-setting price of $358 million.
Chris Hansen and his group then raised the offer to $406 million. The Sacramento group would match the offer.
On April 29, 2013, the NBA Board of Governors Relocation Committee unanimously voted 7-0 against relocating the Kings. Two weeks later, both groups would perform presentations to the other 29 franchise owners that would be followed by a vote, a vote that would seal the fate of the franchise.
The news broke on May 15, 2013 that the owners had voted against the relocation of the Sacramento Kings by a final vote of 22-8, ending the Seattle group’s run to purchase the team.
Finally, it was over.
Ranadive and his group of investors successfully purchased the Kings from the Maloofs on May 29, 2013 for an NBA record $534 million evaluation.
The Sacramento Kings opened their new state of the art arena, Golden 1 Center, in the fall of 2016. While the team is still seeking their first winning season since 2005-06, fans shouldn’t lose track of how grateful we should be to still have our franchise.
Citizens of Sacramento are able to file into Golden 1 Center to watch their team play basketball. The sounds of depressed groans and hopeful cheers might alternate, but one thing is for certain:
They’re our team. They’re our Kings.
Here we stayed.