Bay Area

Sacramento Kings moving to Seattle?: City has ‘shot’ to keep team

The city of Sacramento is making good on its promise to not go down without exhausting every resource possible to keep the Sacramento Kings at home. 

According to Yahoo! Sports NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, a proposed bid from a Northern California-based group has the potential to compete with the Chris Hansen-led Seattle group’s attempt to purchase the team. 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov and billionaire Ron Burkle have put together a ‘slightly lower’ offer than that of the Hansen group, but one advantage that Sacramento has in the scenario is the fact that a sale to them wouldn’t include relocation costs for the franchise. 

The Burkle group and the city of Sacramento have also agreed on a deal to construct a downtown arena that would host the team. Mayor Kevin Johnson has fought every step of the way to retain the team and secured $20 million in funds from local investors to purchase the 7 percent minority ownership stake available in bankruptcy court. 

Sacramento would also have $50 million in corporate sponsorships secured over the next five years if they were to stay. 

Despite Sacramento’s efforts and the latest encouraging news for all stakeholders, the Seattle group continues to make moves that show they are more than confident that they will secure the ownership of the team and be granted relocation by the NBA’s Board of Governors. The Hansen group paid a non-refundable $30 million deposit in January and has a detailed plan to build a Seattle arena to be completed by the 2015-16 season. The team would utilize KeyArena until that time. 

Johnson has been unwavering in his outlook, despite the odds. 

“…We are still very much in this game,” Johnson said in a speech. “I hope Seattle gets a team someday. Let me be crystal clear: It’s not going to be this team. Not our team. No way.”

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His credits include Yahoo Sports and Bleacher Report, among others.


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