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Sacramento River Cats Form Partnership with Sacramento Kings and Arctos Sports Partners

Kings to Serve as Majority Owner of the MiLB Triple-A Team, Susan Savage Continues as a Strategic Business Advisor and Remains Part of Ownership Group
Dinger and Sacramento Kings guard Keon Ellis met up before Ellis threw out the first pitch on Sactown Night (8/23/22). (Ralph Thompson Photo)
August 26, 2022

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today, the Sacramento River Cats, Sacramento Kings and Arctos Sports Partners announce a new partnership that establishes the Kings as the majority owner of the MiLB Triple-A team, bringing the River Cats’ business operations under the Kings umbrella. The River Cats will remain the Triple-A affiliate for

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today, the Sacramento River Cats, Sacramento Kings and Arctos Sports Partners announce a new partnership that establishes the Kings as the majority owner of the MiLB Triple-A team, bringing the River Cats’ business operations under the Kings umbrella. The River Cats will remain the Triple-A affiliate for the three-time World Series Champion San Francisco Giants and Susan Savage, longtime owner of the River Cats, will continue to serve as a strategic business advisor and member of the ownership group.

“My sons, Jeff and Brent, helped me continue what my late husband Art started back in 2000, providing fun, safe and family-friendly entertainment for everyone in the Sacramento region,” said River Cats Strategic Business Advisor Susan Savage. “As our family looks to transition into new ventures, we identified the Sacramento Kings as the perfect strategic partner to continue this tradition while deepening the organization’s footprint in a region we all love. It has always been about the community and our employees and that will not change.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Susan Savage and her family, who made the River Cats into a tremendous community asset with a great brand and tradition,” said Sacramento Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé. “We look forward to building on their inspiring legacy and continuing to provide families with memorable experiences.”

“We are proud of our partnership with the Kings and believe strongly in Vivek’s innovative vision of building a world-class sports and entertainment platform, coupled with his deep commitment to the Sacramento community,” said Arctos Sports Partners Partner Chad Hutchinson. “This is a unique opportunity to bring together two iconic organizations in one of the most dynamic markets in the country. We are committed to working closely with the Kings to serve the Sacramento community and deliver an exceptional fan experience.”

“In Sacramento, sports are part of our identity and a common cause that brings us all together. The Kings, the River Cats, and all of their fans embody the passion, energy, and civic pride of our great region,” said Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06). “This announcement builds upon this tight-knit community fabric, drawing together two Sacramento icons and economic anchors of our region. I want to give a special thank you to Susan Savage, her late husband Art, and their son Jeff for their amazing leadership over the past two decades. The River Cats organization is a regional institution – and it has taken an immense amount of dedication and hard work to make it the community pillar it is today. By adding the expertise of Vivek and the Kings management team, I know that this will only continue to grow. Making sure that the River Cats stay right here in the Sacramento family is not only about the economic vitality of the region, but also about maintaining the community bonds that define our hometown teams.”

With nearly 60 years of combined history in Sacramento, the Kings and River Cats have long prioritized giving back to the region and today’s announcement allows for deeper impacts and investments. Through community programs and initiatives such as Jr. Kings programing, Kings and Queens Rise Co-Ed Youth Sports and Mentoring League and basketball court refurbishments, the Kings dedicate time, resources, talent and passion to give the community the support it needs to thrive. In recognition of their leadership in social responsibility and work to address social injustice, the Kings were awarded the NBA Inclusion Innovation award in 2019 and 2020.

Similarly, the River Cats have impacted the community through the AAA School Program, Home Run Tours, hosting camps at River Cats Independence Field for children with disabilities, baseball and softball field makeovers, the Art of Baseball Calendar and Sutter Health hospital visits. In addition, the River Cats Foundation was established in 2000 and focuses on financially supporting family and youth-based activities in the greater Sacramento area.

The Kings have a community-first approach to real estate and business development. The organization has been instrumental in the revitalization of Downtown Sacramento, making Golden 1 Center and the surrounding Downtown Commons (DOCO) a thriving business and entertainment center that brings hundreds of thousands of people to Sacramento’s urban core each year. As the most technologically advanced and sustainable arena in the world, Golden 1 Center is 100% solar powered and runs an industry-leading food and beverage program that sources 90 percent of available ingredients from within 150 miles of the arena, reducing its carbon footprint and supporting the local economy. In addition, Golden 1 Center is a top-performing arena globally – ranking #6 in worldwide and US for ticket sales according to Pollstar. In 2021, Golden 1 Center sold more than 207,000 tickets for major concerts and shows, hosting 11 of the top 100 worldwide tours.

The River Cats franchise was purchased by Art Savage in October 1998 and was relocated to Sacramento prior to the 2000 season from Vancouver (Canada). Since moving to Sacramento, the River Cats have won five Pacific Coast League titles and are the only club to win three Triple-A Championships. In 2021, the River Cats and Giants signed a long-term partnership extension that keeps the River Cats as the Giants’ top minor league affiliate through the 2030 season. Sutter Health Park was built in 2000 and has become the cornerstone for West Sacramento’s Bridge District development as it brings in hundreds of thousands of people to the area for ballgames, Brewfest at the Ballpark, Fourth on the Field, concerts, various sporting events, walks, graduations and more.

Arctos Sports Partners is a private investment firm that invests in and collaborates with innovative and visionary ownership groups, sports businesses, and leagues across North American professional sports and European soccer. Arctos’ partners are able to leverage the deep industry knowledge and operational expertise of the firm’s 30 investment and operational professionals and senior advisors, including Theo Epstein, to help drive additional value for their organization.

Dan Barrett of CAA ICON and Bob Stanley of Evolution Media Capital served as sell-side advisors to the Sacramento River Cats.