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Kings to remain in Sacramento


ANAHEIM, Calif.–The Sacramento Kings have dropped plans to ask the NBA for permission to move the team to Anaheim because of opposition from the league, the team announced today.

Officials from Anaheim Arena Management, which since September had been in negotiations with the Maloof family that owns the team, were told of the decision early today.

Today was the deadline for the Kings to request permission to move.

“Out of respect to Kings fans and the regional business community, we have decided to remain in Sacramento for the 2011-12 season,” a statement released today by Maloof Sports and Entertainment said.

The Maloof family has been frustrated for years by an inability to have a new arena built for the team, which has played at the recently renamed Power Balance Pavilion since 1988.

The arena is the smallest in the NBA, with a capacity of 17,137. It is tied with Milwaukee’s Bradley Center and The Palace at Auburn Hills, the home of the Detroit Pistons, as the third oldest in the league behind New York’s Madison Square Garden and Oracle Arena in Oakland.

Sacramento voters rejected a sales tax increase in 2006 to fund a new arena.

The Anaheim City Council voted unanimously March 29 to issue up to $75 million in bonds for improvements at Honda Center to help induce the Kings to move there.

Almost three dozen companies pledged up to $10 million last week to help finance a plan to keep the Kings in Sacramento, where they have played since 1985.

The Kings proposed move most likely was opposed by the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers.

An unprecedented third NBA team in the Greater Los Angeles market probably would lessen the value of the Lakers’ 20-year deal with Time Warner Cable for the television rights to their games and provide additional competition for the Lakers and Clippers for corporate sponsorships.

Honda Center officials have been actively interested in trying to lure an NBA team to Anaheim for more than a decade. The then-Vancouver Grizzlies were one possibility, but the team moved to Memphis in 2001.

Anaheim was a potential temporary home for the New Orleans Hornets after Hurricane Katrina forced their temporary move in 2005, but they chose Oklahoma City instead.

The Clippers played several regular-season games at Honda Center, then known as the Arrowhead Pond, each season from 1994-99, but ended that when Staples Center opened in 1999.