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Think Big Group Rolls Out Sacramento Over Seattle Argument

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
The group made its presentation to the Sacramento Region Builders Exchange, trying to drum up support for a downtown arena while trumpeting the attendance numbers and lack of competing professional sports franchises.
In a head-to-head comparison of the Sonics final 23 seasons in Seattle, Think Big Executive Director Kunal Merchant told the three dozen builders and media that the Kings had better attendance rates in 20 of those years despite the fact Sacramento had only seven winning seasons -compared to 16 for Seattle. 
Merchant then unveiled a new measurement for identifying television and radio audience strength designed to turn a perceived weakness into a strength.  Based on the number of people in every National Basketball Association city divided by the number of major professional sports teams in that city, Sacramento vaults from a top-30 television and radio market to being the second-ranked television market and the top-ranked radio market. 
Former executive director Chris Lehane also put a mostly-positive spin on what is a pending bid for the team that would compete with the bids made by Seattle investors Hansen/Ballmer and the one by Mark Mastrov as part of a Sacramento bid. Lehane called a second Sacramento bid a tremendous challenge to the City, while describing the economic impacts of an arena at Natomas and one at the Downtown Plaza as being apples and oranges.
Think Big promises more studies and community outreach in the coming weeks leading up to at least one vote in late March -likely the 26th- by the City Council on an arena construction term sheet with Ron Burkle.
Mayor Johnson told Capital Public Radio Wednesday a Sacramento group could be asked to make a presentation before the NBA as soon as late March -in advance of a presentation April 18 or 19 in New York. 
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