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The Sacramento Kings have dropped plans to ask the NBA for permission to move the team to Anaheim.
Officials from Anaheim Arena Management, which had been in negotiations with the Maloof family that owns the team since September, were told of the decision this morning.
"We are heading back to Sacramento," team co-owner George Maloof told the Sacramento Bee. "It was a tough decision. Ticket holders were reaching out to us, and it was the right thing to do to give it a shot at one more season."
Anaheim Arena Management also issued a statement Monday.
"We are disappointed in today’s developments but remain very optimistic about the long-term future of the NBA in Anaheim," said Michael Schulman, Chairman of Anaheim Arena Management. "We wish the Maloof family and City of Sacramento well and hope they are successful in their endeavors. Since we began working toward bringing an NBA franchise to Orange County, we have maintained that this process is about getting a team for the fans, as basketball is a sport loved by Southern Californians. With the nation’s second most populous region, one which serves as home to nearly the same number of people as the entire state of Texas, we are continuing our pursuit of an NBA team for our venue."
There was a 5 p.m. deadline Monday for the Maloof family which owns the Kings to request permission to move.
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 construction of 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.
Nearly 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.
If the Kings request to move, it would likely be opposed by the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers.
An unprecedented third NBA team in the Los Angeles market could 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.