By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
February 15, 2013
The Sacramento Kings are on the fast-track to relocating to Seattle, as investor Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer await NBA approval on their purchase of the team. Despite the purchase agreement, Sacramento officials are making a last-ditch effort to find a local buyer for the franchise. And you can’t blame Mayor Kevin Johnson for trying. Having a professional sports team means big business for local communities.
Sports teams provide dozens of full-time jobs for team employees and hundreds of seasonal jobs for people who work at the events. They also create opportunities for small businesses, local restaurants, and retail in the areas around their stadiums and arenas. In the case of Sacramento, keeping the Kings is especially important because they’re one of only six cities with basketball as the only pro sport in town. Oklahoma City is another of the NBA’s one-team cities. Ironically, the Thunder relocated from Seattle in 2008.