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  • Paul Kitagaki Jr. / Sacramento Bee

    Robert Hidalgo photographs a Kings logo before the Sacramento Kings rally at Cesar Chavez Park on May 23, 2013, in Sacramento, Calif.

  • Paul Kitagaki Jr. / Sacramento Bee

    Garret Stickel and Brian Essad of bill Pursell Production hang scrim on the stage for the Sacramento Kings rally at Cesar Chavez Park on May 23, 2013, in Sacramento, Calif.

  • Randall Benton /

    A crowd of supporters react to Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson during a new conference announcing the purchase of the Maloof's ownership of the Sacramento Kings at City Hall last week. Another crowd is expected for today's rally.

Kings old and new to join thousands of fans at downtown Sacramento rally

Published: Wednesday, May. 22, 2013 - 6:24 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Sep. 3, 2013 - 5:38 pm

Thousands of Kings fans - plus a few former team legends and the core of the franchise's new ownership group - are expected to converge on downtown's Cesar Chavez Plaza Thursday afternoon for a rally celebrating the team's future in Sacramento.

The rally will build off a big week for Kings fans. Team officials said Wednesday that their sales staff sold more season tickets on Tuesday than on any other day in Sacramento team history, other than day one, nearly 30 years ago.

Kings spokesman Chris Clark said the team has a policy of not releasing specific ticket sales counts but said requests were coming in every few seconds after the team officially opened sales Tuesday morning for new season tickets for the upcoming season.

The Kings also announced that seven members of the new ownership group - including managing partner Vivek Ranadive - are scheduled to attend the free Long Live the Kings Rally, which runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Ranadive will be joined at the rally by partners Paul Jacobs, Raj Bhathal, Mark Mastrov, Mark Friedman, Andrew Miller and Chris Kelly.

Kings legends Mitch Richmond and Chris Webber will attend, along with current Kings Tyreke Evans and Isaiah Thomas. Former players Scot Pollard and Bobby Jackson are also slated to be there.

The lineup also includes Mayor Kevin Johnson, Kings broadcasters Grant Napear and Jerry Reynolds, Kings announcer Scott Moak, super fan Carmichael Dave, team mascot Slamson and the Kings Dancers.

And while there won't be a performance by homegrown rock band Cake - as Johnson initially promised - Chord Overstreet of TV's "Glee" and his father, acclaimed songwriter Paul Overstreet, will perform. Local rapper Alex Johnson will take the stage and Tesla guitarist Frank Hannon will perform the band's iconic "Love Song."

Finally, local performance painter David Garibaldi will be joined by the Kings Breakers in an "epic fusion of music and art," according to a press release announcing the event lineup.

City officials are expecting a large crowd for the event.

The city announced on Wednesday that Ninth Street between I and J streets will be closed from 6 a.m. to midnight Thursday to accommodate the rally.

There will also be no parking on the west side of 10th Street from I to J; the south side of I Street from Eighth to 10th; the north side of I Street from Ninth to 10th; the north side of J from Ninth to 10th; and the south side of L Street between 11th and 12th.

Call The Bee's Ryan Lillis, (916) 321-1085. Read his City Beat blog at Follow him on Twitter @ryan_lillis.

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