Posted on January 23, 2013 at 7:52 AM
SEATTLE - It’s not over.
Multiple reports suggested Tuesday night that two wealthy investors are plotting whether to team up in an effort to make a counter-offer for the Sacramento Kings.
The Sacramento Bee first reported that Pittsburgh Penguins owner Ron Burkle, and 24-Hour-Fitness founder Mark Mastrov were considering combining forces to bid for the franchise, and help finance a new downtown Sacramento Arena.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson announced earlier Tuesday that he was still searching for a “whale” to help finance a competitive bid.
The NBA announced Monday that native Seattleite Chris Hansen, and the Maloof family, which owns the Kings, had agreed to a sale of the franchise. Hansen has said repeatedly he wants a team to help fill his $490 million dollar SoDo Arena. The team would play at Key Arena for at least two years. Sources say the deal would be for 65% of the franchise, which would be valued at $525 million. A source said Hansen also agreed to make a $30 million dollar non-refundable down payment on the franchise.
Johnson earlier had announced he’d lined up 20 investors who had committed at least $1 million dollars to a franchise purchase. He acknowledged, in a press conference, that his next step was to nail down a major investor. His next step was to solidify a solid Sacramento arena plan, with financing.
“I would also caution the folks in Seattle, don’t celebrate too early,” said Johnson.
The NBA relocation deadline is March 1st.
Hansen’s architects revealed new designs for the proposed Seattle Arena on Tuesday night. They included extensive environmental plans for the buildings, including calls for ‘water walls’, roof top green spaces, and possibly solar panels.
“There is a real opportunity to capture rain water - and use it for non potable uses,” said architect Tom Marseille.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn’s office said today it would have a Key Arena use agreement sent to the Council in March.
The NBA owners will vote on the move in April.
McGinn’s office said an economic study could be done by late April, and an Environmental Impact study would be done by May or June.
There are two pending lawsuits over the SoDo site, including a case filed by the local chapter of the ILWU. That is scheduled for February.