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NBA relo committee heads to Sacramento

Rochester RoyalsFaced with the decision of whether to let the Sacramento Kings move to Anaheim, the NBA‘s relocation committee is heading to Sacramento Thursday to determine whether the market is really capable of supporting pro basketball.

At issue: Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson says he’s lined up pledges for $7 million in new sponsorships from local businesses. Of course, any business can pledge any amount of money to anything without actually having to follow through on the commitment: that’s the difference between a hard pledge and a soft pledge. One of the things to be investigated by the relo committee will be whether the support is hard or soft; working against Sacramento is that a fundraising letter from Johnson’s office asked for soft support, not hard.

The issue of a new arena is sure to be discussed; there’s no way the team stays in Sacramento without a firm plan for an arena. The status of arena development from ICON Venue Group in terms of market viability will be discussed as well, though a final report is not expected to be finished.

The committee will be headed by Oklahoma City Thunder President Clay Bennett, who engineered the move of the Seattle Supersonics to OKC.

RELATED STORIES: Kings relo app deadline pushed back to May 2; Anaheim to discuss aid for Kings; Maloofs shoot down Arco refurb; Kings: From boom to bust; With Kings eying Anaheim, Johnson vows to continue arena quest; Maloofs sell naming rights to arena; admit to looking at moving NBA’s Kings; Johnson: We’ll take another run at new Kings arena; NBA: We’re done with Sacramento arena effortsConsultant: It makes no sense to move Cal Expo as part of arena project; Maloof: We’re not looking at move to Seattle; Size of Arco Arena site threatens Kings arena deal

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