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In small-market Sacramento, Kings arena employees find a family

Stashed in: Basketball, California

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The Sacramento Kings are a tire fire on the court and in the front office, and as a child of Washington State I sincerely believe Seattle deserves an NBA team... but it's good to be reminded of what would be lost if the Sacramento Kings left town.

Yeah, regardless of how well the Kings do, they are the main attraction in Sacramento.

More than half of the employees on the operations team have been with the organization for at least 10 years. There has been incredible turnover within the Kings' basketball operations in the last two years, but there has long been a strong sense of stability among many of those in other departments. The Kings became their family and they never left.

This feeling is often unique to small markets like Sacramento, where the one professional sports team is the main attraction in town. Fans rally around the team, corporate entities use the venue to market themselves and players trade in the glamor of a big city for the thrill of a more personal connection with their audience.

But longtime franchise employees are the ones with the deepest connections. The sports team isn't just a distraction to enjoy. It's also a vehicle that allowed them to find purpose in their job and, by extension, their lives.

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