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Sacramento approves arena plan to keep Kings

  • Gavin Maloof, co-owner of the Sacramento Kings, celebrates with Kings fans after the Sacramento City Council approved a plan to help finance a new $391 sports and entertainment arena, in Sacramento, Calif. Tuesday, March 6, 2012. By a 7-2 vote, the City Council approved a non-binding term sheet, signed off by the Kings and the NBA last week, that will keep the team in Sacramento for at least another 30 years.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO — The only place the Sacramento Kings are moving to is a new downtown home in California's capital.

A year after almost being wiped off the NBA map, Sacramento cleared the most critical political hurdle late Tuesday night when the City Council approved a plan to help finance an estimated $391 million arena, setting off cheers through the cramped chambers that spilled onto the streets of downtown with a message that echoed from Anaheim to Seattle and across the basketball world.

"Long live Sacramento, and long live the Kings!" shouted Sacramento Mayor and former NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson to a sea of supporters that packed the grounds for the historic vote.

The non-binding term sheet, signed off by the Kings and the NBA last week, will keep the team in Sacramento for at least another 30 years.

Cheers rang out from supporters who cramped the council's chambers when the plan passed by a 7-2 vote — the last coming with Johnson screaming "Yeeeees!" — and pushed the city's portion of the agreement forward. Binding contracts from all sides, which are expected to be a formality, could be signed as soon as April.


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