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Thousands gather at rally for Kings in Sacramento

Submitted to the Union
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Cesar Chavez park in Sacramento Thursday was the scene of a standing-room-only event to rejoice in the city’s victory to keep the Kings in the state’s capital.

The crowd of more than 11,000 was very pleasant and the mood festive, said Nevada County local Joyce Haire, who was in attendance with her husband Bill. “They were all there only to celebrate the finale to the uncertainty as to where the Kings would be in the future.”

The Haires are longtime Kings fans who attended the event to show their support for a team they had once feared would be headed north.

Appearing onstage at the rally were the longtime announcers, Gary Gerould from radio and Grant Napier from TV. Former greats Mitch Richmond, Chris Webber and Scot Pollard also attended and were on stage, as well as current players Tyreke Evans and Isaiah Thomas.

A number of members of the community that had worked to keep the Kings in Sacramento were also on stage, including a couple of boys who sold lemonade to make money to keep the Kings. Past members of the Dance Team from the early days in Sacramento to the present were also on stage, as well as season ticket holders, some of whom have been faithful since the Kings arrived in Sacramento in 1985.

All the minority owners got up on the stage also, as well as Vivek Ranadive who spoke to the crowd about the future of the team and the new arena.

Haire said they didn’t feel the earthquake at the rally Thursday night but joked the raucous crowd in Sacramento may have been the cause.


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