Sports Out West

New investor Mark Friedman joins Sacramento bid for Kings

Sacramento_Kings_The_Maloofs_&_You_meeting

Less than 24 hours after business magnate Ron Burkle dropped out of the Sacramento group seeking to buy the Kings due to a conflict of interest legality, the Sacramento Bee reported that a new investor, real estate developer Mark Friedman, joined the foray on Tuesday. 

Friedman joins Golden State Warriors minority owner Vivek Ranadive, 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov and San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium founders the Jacobs family in the quest to keep the Kings in California’s capital city.

Friedman, a Harvard graduate with an MBA and a law degree from Stanford, said his interest in keeping the Kings in Sacramento was not a spur of the moment decision. 

“I’ve been talking to Vivek (Ranadive) and Mark Mastrov for a couple of months,” said Friedman.

The lawyer turned real estate developer did not specify what his financial commitment would be, but stated that it would be “substantial.”  The Sacramento contingent plans to build a new $488 million downtown arena that will feature $258 million in public funding.

Friedman’s entry into the investment group substantiates Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson’s previous statements that there is ample interest from the local business community to retain the Kings and block a competing investment group’s plans to relocate the franchise to Seattle. 

Both the Sacramento and Seattle groups made presentations of their proposals to an NBA finance and relocation committee last week.  The NBA Board of Governors will meet in New York on April 18 or 19 to decide the fate of the franchise.

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Ben Hernandez Jr.

Ben Hernandez Jr. is a Los Angeles native who is unable to eliminate his fixation for sports, particularly the NBA. He currently works as a writer/editor for a business school and has written for various publications on topics, such as finance, politics, and health. Sports-wise, he has covered the LA Lakers and Clippers on Examiner.com. Ben is also a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.