Like many fans, the Sacramento business community has had enough of the Maloofs. In a letter to the NBA, 26 local business leaders requested that the Kings owners sell their majority stake in the franchise.
“The city, the fans and the NBA deserve and require an ownership group that is fully committed to being a good-faith constructive participant in the arena process,” says part of the letter. ”And we deserve an ownership group that is not only committed to the long-term viability of the franchise in this region but also one that has the wherewithal to make it a thriving, competitive organization.”
Local entrepreneur Gregory Hayes organized the press conference and confirmed that he has spoken to someone who would like to purchase the team. The interested buyer is a California businessperson, but Hayes, who is a member of Mayor Kevin Johnson’s Think Big Sacramento committee, said that person is not billionaire magnate Ron Burkle.
“We are saddened and disappointed when members of the community, who are not fully informed on the true details of the complex dealings in this arena process, choose to criticize us publicly today at a news conference,” said the Maloofs in a statement issued by the spokesperson Eric Rose.
The Maloofs are currently in New York attending the NBA Board of Governors meetings, attempting to renegotiate the arena deal.
After the jump, the entire letter issued by the Sacramento business community and the Maloofs’ response issued by their spokesperson.
Dr. Mr Stern,
We the representatives of Sacramento’s business community would like to acknowledge with great appreciation the contribution the Maloof family has made to the growth of Sacramento over the years through their ownership of the Kings. Their value has been further punctuated by a significant contribution to charity in our community.
However, at this point, we believe it is time for the Maloofs to sell their ownership of the franchise, for the good of the city and in the interest of advancing Sacramento’s effort to build a downtown arena. The city, the fans and the NBA deserve and require an ownership group that is fully committed to being a good-faith constructive participant in the arena process. And we deserve an ownership group that is not only committed to the long-term viability of the franchise in this region but also one that has the wherewithal to make it a thriving, competitive organization.
Recent events have cast significant doubts on the Maloof’s motivations in this regard and their ability to participate financially in the arena development. The Sacramento community has lost faith in the Maloof family’s ability to deliver on the many promises it has made. It is time for a new ownership group to take over the team.
We urge you and the other NBA owners, for the good of all parties involved, to strongly encourage the Maloof family to sell the team.
The following business people signed the letter.
Cory Jackson, Owner
John H. Hodgson, President, The Hodgson Company
Steve Goodwin, President of Township Nine
John Culpepper, Owner/ Operator Capitol City Services
Scott Syphax, President and CEO of Nehemiah Corporation of America (NCA)
Mark Otero, Local Entrepreneur
Kevin Donnelly, Achitect/ Real Estate Developer
Johan Otto, Carson Development
Joshua Wood, Vice President of Public Affairs & Community Relations, Region Builders
Chip Wilkins, Partner of Remy, Moose & Manley
Isaac Gonzalez, Community Advocate, Independent Content Production
Clint Williams, Business Development Manager, Turner Construction Company
John Kaufman, Regional Director – Ygrene Energy Fund – Clean Energy Sacramento
Jeffrey R. Einhorn, Chief Executive Officer, NonProfits United
Jeff Hallsten, The Hallsten Company
Ken Fahn, Developer
Greg Hayes, Entrepreneur
Tony Babcock, Owner Jack’s Urban Eats
Stan Lukowicz, Owner Capitol Loan and Jewelry
Patrick Mulvaney, Owner Mulvaney’s Building and Loan
Simon de Vere White, Owner de Vere’s Irish Pub
Jon Bagatelos, Owner, Bagatelos Architectural Glass
Steve Edwards, Partner, Potter-Taylor Company
Adam Loveall, Director UFCW
Steve Ayers, Chief Executive Officer, Armour Steel Company
Joe Livaich, Director, Octus Energy
Maloof family response:
We are saddened and disappointed when members of the community, who are not fully informed on the true details of the complex dealings in this arena process, choose to criticize us publicly today at a news conference.
The Maloof Family and the Sacramento Kings organization have been involved in Sacramento’s civic and charitable community for many years. We are proud of the substantial contribution of time, money, and energy, including $20 million in cash and in kind contributions donated to more than 200 charitable and community groups in the Sacramento region. The goal of the Kings organization has always been to provide complete customer and employee satisfaction.
We share in the community’s frustration on forging a workable agreement on what is ultimately a $400 million transaction that will impact the region for many years to come. However, we must all remember what is at stake in the development of a new arena in Sacramento, and must insure the agreement works for all parties involved, and most importantly, the residents of the City. We only need to look a few miles south to Stockton to learn the lesson of what a bad arena deal could cost the taxpayers.
The building of a new arena in downtown Sacramento includes the sale of important city assets; the sale of city land; and infrastructure issues.
We are currently in New York meeting with the NBA and the league’s owners, presenting the timeline of facts that have transpired during this process. With that said, the goal of the Sacramento Kings’ organization remains to open the 2015 NBA season in a new arena in Sacramento, and we look forward to working with the City on making that goal a reality.