The owners of the Sacramento Kings abandoned their plan to move the National Basketball Association franchise to Southern California for at least a year, the Maloof family said in a statement.
The Maloofs had until today to file a relocation request with the league, which had questions about the Los Angeles area’s ability to support a third team. Owners of the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers objected to the addition of another club, which they contend would diminish the value of their television contracts.
The decision by the Maloofs is a victory for the city of Sacramento, whose mayor, former NBA player Kevin Johnson, in the past week secured about $10 million in commitments from local sponsors for next season.
“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 Kings fans so rightly deserve,” the family’s statement said.
If an arena plan cannot be completed, the statement said the league’s relocation committee would support the team’s application to move for the 2012-13 season.
The Kings are the only major professional sports team in Sacramento.
The Maloof statement didn’t say how a new arena would be funded. NBA Commissioner David Stern said on a conference call that “it is not uncommon for teams to make contributions to a public/private partnership.”
Stern wasn’t specific as to how much the Kings would contribute under such a plan.
The Kings in Anaheim would have shared the Honda Center with hockey’s Ducks, who are owned by billionaire Broadcom Corp. co-founder Henry Samueli.
The Maloofs say they need a new arena to remain in Sacramento, where voters in 2006 rejected a proposed sales tax that would have raised money for a new building.
The NBA then announced it would spearhead efforts for a new arena. No agreement was reached, prompting the Maloofs to explore relocation.