The fake news

Ryan Rose, editorEditor’s Note: I received quite a few e-mails over the last few days from folks that were duped by our April Fools Day story on Mayor Kevin Johnson selling the Sacramento Kings to raise money to build a new Kings arena downtown. By request, I have posted this story on our Web site. Enjoy. And one more thing: Let me again thank Mayor Kevin Johnson, Joe and Gavin Maloof, Tyreke Evans and the rest for being such good sports.

 

 

Breaking news: Mayor Johnson supports selling the Kings to raise money for new Kings Arena

Mayor Kevin JohnsonIn a stunning – and somewhat unbelievable move – Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has agreed to sell the Sacramento Kings basketball team in an effort to raise money to build a new Kings arena at the railyards north of downtown.

 

The move was announced April 1 at Sacramento City Hall in front of a crowd of shocked city residents.

 

“I promised the city and the voters when I was elected that I would bring a new arena to downtown, and I plan on delivering on that promise,” Johnson said. “Previous mayors have tried to build a new arena, but they were always held back by a lack of funds.”

 

For a number of years, the city has attempted (and failed) to craft a deal to build a new sports and entertainment complex for the Sacramento Kings. The Kings’ current home, Arco Arena off Interstate 80, is one of the most dilapidated sports venues in the NBA. Although officials with the state of California and the city have negotiated with the NBA and local developers to build an arena at the abandoned downtown railyards, talks recently began to stall and it seemed as if the Kings might be moved to a town more hospitable to building a world-class sports center. Now, Johnson said, the city doesn’t have to worry about whether or not the Kings would be moving away.

 

“Now we know they’re going for sure,” the mayor said. “And that fact really eases my mind.”

 

Johnson said that the decision to sell the Kings was a difficult choice, but he was able to convince the Kings’ owners, the Maloof family, when he explained that it was likely the only way the city would be able to provide the team a new arena. The mayor said the Maloofs were originally lukewarm to the idea, but were ultimately on board when he explained the logic behind the decision.

 

“I said, ‘Joe, Gavin, other Maloofs, the Sacramento Kings team is our city’s most valuable asset besides the Tower Bridge – and we can’t sell the Tower Bridge because it is bolted to the ground.’ The Maloofs immediately understood,” Johnson said.

 

Although the Maloofs are behind the deal now, they had earlier proposed another plan to generate revenue to support arena construction.

 

“We had offered to buy the name of the city from Mayor Johnson,” Gavin Maloof said. “We figured we pay, like, a million bucks for the naming rights to Sacramento. I suggested we call the city ‘The Capital brought to you by the Maloofs,’ but Joe said we should call the city ‘Kings.’ I agreed.”

 

Fortunately, according to star Kings player Tyreke Evans, that proposal was rejected by Johnson.

 

“I mean come on, we would have been the ‘Kings’ Kings.’ That is the dumbest thing I ever heard,” Evans said.

 

Johnson said he and the Maloofs put the team up for sale on eBay last week. After a bidding match by the cities of Seattle and San Jose, the New York borough of Queens was named the winner of the online auction, paying a little over $30 million to move the Kings to the East Coast.

 

Evans said he is excited by the move and plans to work hard to build fans at his new home. He is also satisfied that the new name of the team will be slightly less embarrassing than the “Kings’ Kings”

 

“Yeah, we are going to be the Kings of Queens,” said Evans, shaking his head. “Wow.”

 

The mayor said the $30 million should arrive sometime next week.

 

“I asked for cash,” Johnson said. “I’ve been burnt on eBay before.”

 

The mayor hopes construction on the new arena could start as soon as January of next year.

 

“The new arena is going to be great,” Johnson said as he finished his press conference. “Oh, and by the way Sacramento, promise kept.”

 

If you’ve made it this far through the story and haven’t yet realized that it is a fake, let me wish you a happy April Fools Day! Please send the inevitable complaints to ryanrose@valcomnews.com.

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