Maloofs, Fans Celebrate News Of Kings Staying Ahead Of Meeting On Arena
Thousands of "rowdy Sacramento Kings fans, many in jerseys and a few waving cowbells, turned downtown's Cesar Chavez Plaza into a sea of purple Tuesday night as they celebrated the team's decision to stay put -- for now," according to Kawahara & Bizjak of the SACRAMENTO BEE. After last night's celebration, the work to keep the team in Sacramento beyond next spring "gears up today" when Mayor Kevin Johnson and members of the David Taylor/ICON Venue Group meet with Kings Owner the Maloof family "for what are expected to be the first talks about what the owners might be willing to invest in a new arena." At yesterday's rally, Joe Maloof was "reluctant to talk about an arena plan, declaring the word 'arena' unmentionable for the day." Maloof did say ticket sales have been "terrific" since the family announced the Kings were staying in Sacramento for at least one more season. He said that "tickets are being bought at 10 times the normal rate per day," but he declined to provide exact figures. Maloof: "The last seven days we've had record days every day." He noted that the team "hired extra people to meet the demand for tickets and sponsorships that was on hold while the team's status was up in the air" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 5/11). In Sacramento, Ailene Voisin writes Joe and Gavin Maloof "seemed visibly relieved -- and even surprised -- by their overwhelmingly favorable reception" at yesterday's rally. Gavin noted that he "addressed the organization's employees the other day and received a 'standing ovation' at the end." He said, "I couldn't believe it. I think the thing is, we just want to put the past behind us" (SACBEE.com, 5/11).