The Reno Bighorns (NBA Gatorade League) are set for a relocation, as the Sacramento Kings plan to move the club to Stockton, CA.
The move is pending formal league approval, and the Stockton City Council still has to review and vote on an agreement later this month for the team to use Stockton Arena. Should those pieces fall into place, the Bighorns will relocate to Stockton and begin playing their home games at Stockton Arena next season.
With this decision, the Kings–who purchased the controlling interest in the Bighorns in 2016–are joining the wave of NBA clubs that have moved their G League teams closer to their home base of operations. Stockton’s proximity from the Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center–roughly a 45-minute drive– is considerbly closer than Reno’s, meaning that the Kings will now have their G League club within a relatively short distance. More from The Sacramento Bee:
“With the addition of NBA G League Basketball in the Central Valley, each of California’s NBA franchises have a powerful asset within an hour of their headquarters to help develop their players and expand their fan bases with elite professional basketball at an affordable price in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere,” NBA G League President Malcolm Turner said.
Kings G League general manager Anthony McClish and the basketball operations staff will use the former Kings Training Facility in Natomas, with access to the resources the Kings have, including Golden 1 Center.
Business operations will be based in Stockton under Dustin Toms, Kings G League vice president of business operations.
“Our NBA G League team has been an incredible asset to help prepare players for NBA action and bringing the team closer to Sacramento will allow us to continue to build on that success and increase efficiency to this valuable development tool,” Kings general manager Vlade Divac said in a statement. “Kings fans in Stockton will now have an opportunity to see the next-generation of NBA players each week.”
In recent seasons, NBA teams like the Orlando Magic–who relocated the former Erie BayHawks to Lakeland, FL prior to the 2017-18 season–have moved existing G League squads to nearby locales, while others have opted to set up nearby expansion clubs. The Bighorns have a fairly long history in Reno, as they have played at the Reno Events Center since 2008. For Stockton, this move would add another club to Stockton Arena, which is already the home of hockey’s Stockton Heat (AHL).