Weekend poll: What do you think the odds are of the Kings staying in Sacramento?

Leading Off: Turned off by Kings, fans are tuning out

Published: Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013 - 2:07 pm

As an expected change in Kings ownership – and a possible move to Seattle – approaches, it seems the love affair this city once had with the team is fading.

It's not just that the Kings are last in the NBA in home attendance, averaging 13,214 after all those seasons of sellouts. We understand the low turnout; the team just hasn't been good or entertaining in recent seasons, though it probably has more to do with the distasteful behavior of the Maloofs.

It seems to have extended beyond a desire to stop supporting the Maloofs financially. At bars and restaurants around town that feature sports prominently on TV, few seem to be showing the Kings – and at those that still do, few people seem to be watching.

Our friend Steve recounted a recent visit to a popular midtown Mexican bar and restaurant. The TVs were showing a "random NBA game," as he put it, rather than the Kings. He requested a change to the Kings game, but few even noticed.

Is it because the Kings have been mediocre for so many years? Or because fans have all but conceded they're moving?

Not everyone has given up, of course. The "Here We Stay" folks are pushing tonight's "Here We Buy" game against Utah. They're hoping to fill the arena to show the NBA that fans here still care about the team.

If you're interested in joining the effort, go to herewebuy.org for a link for discounted tickets starting at $17.50.

While we applaud the initiative, we don't think filling the arena for one game – or even the rest of the home games this season – will make much difference when it's time for the NBA to decide the team's future.

The only way Sacramento has a chance to keep the Kings is to convince the NBA that a local offer is better than the deal the Maloofs have with the Seattle group, coupled with a written agreement for a downtown arena.

What to do

NBA, Utah at Kings, 7 p.m., Sleep Train Arena: Even if it doesn't sway the NBA, a nearly packed arena should be a fun time for Kings fans.

What to watch

Golf, Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, 10 a.m., GOLF, and noon, Ch. 13: If you can't be at one of the most beautiful courses in the world, watching on TV isn't a bad alternative.

Weekend poll

What do you think the odds are of the Kings staying in Sacramento?

• 0% • 1-19%

• 20-39% • 40-59%

• 60-79% • 80%-plus

Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports

Friday's results

Should high school athletes have signing ceremonies?

• Yes: 29%

• No: 71%

Total votes: 214

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Read more articles by Tom Couzens

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