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But the former Arco Arena is outdated, so the Maloof brothers have begun exploring the move to Southern California. The Honda Center, which hosted the NCAA tournament’s West Regional finals, has amenities that Sacramento’s building lacks.

The arena situation in Sacramento has long been a concern in the NBA, and Commissioner David Stern has expressed less optimism seemingly each time he’s been asked over the last few years. Yet it’s the league’s owners who will determine if the Maloofs can move, and a majority of them would have to approve the application.

They could also seek to establish a severe relocation fee penalty that could make the Maloofs reconsider.

Sacramento’s pitch also included a report from Tim Romani, president and CEO of the ICON group, which is performing a feasibility study for a new arena that he said should be completed by the end of May. However, he did say the financing for the project was not fully determined.

But Burkle led the drive for a new arena in Pittsburgh, and Johnson’s team believes he could be the key to saving pro basketball in Sacramento.

“We built a very compelling case to the NBA today,” Johnson said.