Posted on April 12, 2013 at 7:03 AM
Tuesday, Nov 19 at 1:22 PM
SEATTLE - It could be another significant day in the saga of the Sacramento Kings.
A King County judge could rule on a motion to dismiss the last remaining lawsuit against Chris Hansen’s Seattle Arena proposal.
Mark Baerwaldt, of Citizens for More Important Things, believes the $490 million dollar proposal violates the terms of Initiative 91. That initiative, passed by voters in 2006, says the Seattle must make a profit on any investment in a sports facility.
The Memorandum of Understanding for the Arena, approved by the Seattle City and King County Councils, calls for at least $145 million in public financing, and up to $200 million if Hansen can secure an NBA and NHL franchise. The bonds would be paid back with Arena related revenue. Hansen also agreed to spend $40 million in transportation improvements and $7 million in renovations on Key Arena.
Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes has asked a judge to toss out the complaint. If he’s successful, it would mean Hansen would have cleared both legal hurdles prior to next week’s vote on his purchase and relocation of the Sacramento Kings. Holmes, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Seattle City Councilman Tim Burgess have all maintained the deal was I-91 compliant.
The ruling could come hours before a deadline, set by the Maloof family, for a binding, concrete, written “backup bid” for the Kings franchise. A source says the Maloofs could require a non-refundable $30 million dollar down payment. A group of California based investors, led by Golden State Warriors minority investor Vivek Ranadive, have suggested they will submit a competitive bid.
Hansen, and his investors, which include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Pete, and Erik Nordstrom, have a signed deal to purchase 65% of the franchise, which would be revalued at $525 million dollars. The group has already submitted a $30 million dollar deposit to the Maloofs.
If a backup offer is submitted, it would come one week before NBA owners are scheduled to vote on Hansen’s proposal.
Multiple people with knowledge of the negotiations say it is still unclear whether a vote will be taken. A simple majority is needed to approve relocation, but at least 23 owners need to vote to approve the sale.