UPDATE, 6:07 p.m.: The petition currently has 5,955 signatures.
ORIGINAL STORY: Less than 24 hours after the Sacramento and Seattle regions were abuzz with talk over the possible sale of the Sacramento Kings to a group in Washington state, more than 4,000 people have signed an online petition to allow any Sacramento group the chance to match an offer to sell the team.
The Change.org petition, addressed to NBA Commissioner David Stern, also asks that Seattle be given its own expansion team.
"Seattle deserves a team after what happened to their Sonics," the petition's website reads. "Sacramento deserves to keep the Kings in Sacramento after supporting the franchise for more than a quarter century and putting together a viable arena financing plan last year."
The goal of the petition is 17,317 signatures–the capacity of Sleep Train Arena (formerly known as Power Balance Pavilion and as ARCO Arena before that). It was started by Here We Stay, the group that rallied around the team when it seemed poised to move to Anaheim in 2011.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said Wednesday afternoon that he had reached out to Stern but had not yet spoken with him. As for Stern's thoughts on expansion teams, the commissioner said last week that he could eventually see the league expanding to Europe.
The petition reads:
NBA commissioner David Stern
Please do the right thing and keep NBA basketball in Sacramento and put an expansion team in Seattle. Allow a Sacramento buyer to be granted an opportunity to match any offer the Maloofs extend to a potential buyer. Rather than relocate the Kings, give Seattle an expansion team for the 2015-16 season. Seattle deserves a fresh start and it is time for a clean slate in Sacramento. Find a resolution that results in a commitment to Sacramento - one of the most passionate fan bases in NBA history that has done everything it has been asked to do in order to build a new arena.