Source: Sam Amick / USA Today
After a Sacramento Kings saga that lasted nearly three years, It appears the team will stay put.
The NBA relocation committee recommended Monday that Seattle’s bid to buy the Kings and relocate them to the city that lost the Sonics in 2008 should be denied. A full vote of the league’s owners won’t take place until May 13, but this is expected to set the tone for the final outcome.
Hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer agreed to buy the team from the Maloof family that owns them for a valuation of $525 million, then later upped their purchase price for 65% of the team to $550 million. But as has been the case since the story began, Sacramento mayor and former NBA point guard Kevin Johnson countered and, barring a surprising late twist, appears to have kepth his hometown’s team from leaving.
Johnson organized a group of investors led by software company tycoon Vivek Ranadive, a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors whose Indian background appealed to the NBA at a time when they are attempting to grow in that region, and the Jacobs family that founded the Fortune 500 company, Qualcomm. Both cities have viable arena plans in place, but the NBA clearly felt confident enough about Sacramento’s downtown plaza proposal that includes $258 million in public subsidies that it offered this recommendation.
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