Sale of Kings Expected Monday, Relocation to Seattle Expected

Sale of Kings Expected Monday, Relocation to Seattle Expected
January 20, 2013, 10:45 pm
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According to various reports and several internal confirmations, the Maloof family has agreed to sell the Sacramento Kings to a Seattle group led by investor Chris Hansen.

Reportedly, the Maloofs are selling all 65 percent of their share for $525 million to Hansen, who will move the team to Seattle and restore the SuperSonics name.

In an Associated Press report, the sale figure is a total valuation of the franchise, which includes relocations fees, according to its findings. Hansen's group is also hoping to buy out other minority investors, though the remaining 35% of stakeholders would still need to be negociated.

The Maloofs will receive a $30 million non-refundable deposit on Feb. 1, according to the deal, reports the AP.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said last week he had received permission from NBA Commissioner David Stern to present a counteroffer to league owners from buyers who would keep the Kings in Sacramento.

Johnson released a statement Sunday, writing, "Sacramento has proven that it is a strong NBA market with a fan base that year in and year out has demonstrated a commitment to the Kings by selling out 19 of 27 seasons in a Top 20 market and owning two of the longest sellout streaks in NBA history. When it comes to keeping the team in our community, Sacramento is playing to win. In particular, we have been focused like a laser on identifying an ownership group that will both have the financial resources desired by the NBA and the vision to make the Kings the NBA equivalent of what the Green Bay Packers have been in the NFL."

The deadline for teams to apply for a move for the next season is March 1.

''When it comes to keeping the team in our community, Sacramento is playing to win.

Hansen, a Seattle native and San Francisco-based investor, reached agreement with local governments in Seattle last October on plans to build a $490 million arena near the city's other stadiums, CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field.

As part of the agreement, no construction will begin until all environmental reviews are completed and a team has been secured.

Chris Hansen and his investment group has publicly stateed that they would pitch in $290 million in private investment toward the arena, along with helping to pay for transportation improvements in the area around the stadiums.

The plans also call for the arena to be able to handle a future NHL franchise.

The remaining $200 million in public financing would be paid back with rent money and admissions taxes from the arena, and if that money falls short, Hansen would be responsible for making up the rest.

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and two members of the Nordstrom department store family would be part of the arena construction and development funding.

Hansen's goal has always been to return the SuperSonics to the Puget Sound after they were moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City in 2008.

The Kings' sale price would top the NBA-record $450 million the Golden State Warriors sold for in July 2010.

Last year, the Maloofs backed out of a tentative $391 million deal for a new downtown arena with Sacramento, reigniting fears and a publc firestorm that the franchise could and would relocate.

This past summer, Johnson and the Kings broke off all negotiations, with the Maloof's saying the deal didn't make financial sense for the franchise.

In 2011, the Kings appeared determined to move to Anaheim before Johnson convinced the NBA to give the city one last chance to help finance an arena.

Johnson made a pitch to the NBA Board of Governors in April 2011, promising league owners the city would find a way to help finance a new arena to replace the team's current outdated suburban facility. That pitch bought the Kings time, before the brokered deal between the city and the Maloofs fell apart last year.

With the finalization of the Sacramento Kings' sale to a Seattle-based ownership group, the NBA's relocation committee will overwhelmingly ratify the franchise's move to Seattle for the 2013-14 season, Y! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

The Seattle group's plan is to play the next two seasons in KeyArena before moving into a new $500 million arena in downtown Seattle in 2015.

Hansen and the group's investors will reportedly bring back the franchise's longtime Sonics name and colors.

The relocation committee has been briefed several times on the sale process to the Hansen-Ballmer group, according to Wojnarowski's report, and fully support the the franchise moving to Seattle for next season.

The relocation committee is chaired by Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett, and includes Washington's Ted Leonsis, Minnesota's Glen Taylor, Utah's Greg Miller, Miami's Mickey Arison, Indiana's Herb Simon and San Antonio's Peter Holt. Bennett moved the Sonics from Seattle to Oklahoma City in 2008.

The NBA's Board of Governors support this ownership group, want a team back in the Seattle market, as does outgoing commissioner Stern, and will approve the sale at the next league meeting, sources said.