SACRAMENTO, CA - The principal player of a Seattle investor group seeking to acquire and move the Sacramento Kings to the Emerald City is not giving up.
Chris Hansen sweetened the offer to buy the team from the Maloof family, the majority owners, by $75 million to a valuation of $625 million. The Maloofs and Hansen reached a $525 million price for the team which Hansen increased to $550 million when a Sacramento investor group formed to make a counter-offer.
Hansen also guaranteed that Seattle would participate in a league revenue-sharing fund in which wealthier or large market teams pay into to help support smaller-market franchises. The Sacramento Kings currently receive an estimated $18 million a year from that fund, it has been reported.
The Sports Business Journal learned the potential Sacramento ownership group said it would not take from revenue-sharing pot as part of their offer.
After reviewing the offers and documents from Seattle and Sacramento, an NBA relocation and finance committee voted unanimously last week to recommend that the league's Board of Governors (the 30 owners) deny the Seattle application.
The owners are scheduled to vote on the recommendation May 15 in Dallas.
As for Hansen's latest move, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who spearheaded the effort to assemble a potential Sacramento ownership group and a new arena proposal, had this response:
We feel very confident about the position we are in right now. The NBA leadership and owners have always said that their decision would not be dictated by a bidding war. This was always about whether Sacramento, a community that has supported the NBA for 28 years, can put together a plan and organization to ensure the franchise can rebuild and thrive. The ownership group, the city, and the community have shown the NBA, without any shred of doubt, that the Sacramento Kings belong in Sacramento. I believe the NBA owners realize that there is far more to think about than just an increased bid. They know what this story means to the league. We look forward to talking with all of them again in Dallas.