SACRAMENTO, CA - Nineteen area residents have come forward with a $1 million commitment each in the last-ditch push to keep the Sacramento Kings from being sold and moved to Seattle.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson introduced the 19 as part of an announcement on the progress of the "PlaytoWin" campaign which is modeled after San Francisco's success in holding onto the Giants when they came close to moving to Tampa in 1992.
Johnson said PlaytoWin has four objectives: Identify a local ownership group; identity a major equity partner; secure a commitment to partner to build a new arena with the city of Sacramento; and demonstrate the viability and strength of the Sacramento market.
Those behind PlaytoWin have just until March 1 to submit a proposal to the NBA Board of Governors.
"I'm doing this for one reason," said prospective minority owner Phil Oates. "It's time to fight. Somebody wants something that I own. It's mine! And I'm not giving it up easy!"
Johnson noted Downey Brand LLP law firm has stepped forward to offer legal help pro bono.
The mayor also said he hoped by the end of the week to have an equity partner in line.
"We'll do all we can to put together to submit a fair and competitive offer to as closely match the Hansen group offer to the Maloofs," Johnson said.
"Our community always finds a way to stand up for itself," he said.