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City Leaders Fighting Hard To Keep Kings As Relocation Deadline Nears

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

If you listen to Mayor Kevin Johnson talk these days, he sounds almost like a basketball player trying to win a championship.

"We're fighting for our home team like crazy and everybody else around the country is rooting for us as well," Johnson said.

But it's not a game.  There's a real possibility the owners of the Kings will file to relocate the team.  And there's the possibility the National Basketball Association will allow it.  But those possibilities are getting smaller. 

Johnson impressed the NBA last week with 10 million dollars in corporate sponsorships that would finance the team for another season.  This week he got 30 business leaders together and gave the NBA a down payment on the money.

"We knew that if we stepped up from a corporate community we'd be in the ballgame," Johnson said.  "And that was our offensive play."

The defense is coming from the Committee to Keep the Kings in Sacramento. 
Rob Stutzman is in charge of the committee's signature drive.  He says he's got more than enough signatures to upset Anaheim's plan to use public bonds to lure the Kings away from Sacramento. 
"If the signatures are filed, it will place this matter on the ballot for the Anaheim voters to ultimately decide whether or not 75 million dollars of public finance bonds should be part of the deal to help bring the Kings to Anaheim," Stutzman said.   
Stutzman says Anaheim would have to find a new source for the 75 million dollar loan, or wait for an election. 
He says he's not going to file the signatures though, because it looks like Sacramento might just keep the Kings. 
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