Posted on April 12, 2013 at 11:13 AM
Friday, Apr 12 at 11:13 AM
A King County Superior Court judge on Friday dismissed the last remaining lawsuit against Chris Hansen’s Seattle Arena proposal before NBA owners vote on the sale and relocation of the Sacramento Kings.
Judge Laura Middaugh said the lawsuit was "not ripe," meaning that since the arena deal had not yet been finalized, there was nothing to sue over.
NBA owners will meet next week to decide whether to approve the sale of the Kings to Hansen, and whether to allow the team to move to Seattle starting next season.
It also came hours before a deadline imposed by the current Kings owners, the Maloof family. They have told a group of Sacramento investors who want to keep the Kings there that an offer matching the Seattle offer must be presented by 5 p.m. Friday.
The Sacramento Bee
reports former Facebook executive Chris Kelly has joined the Sacramento group.
The Seattle lawsuit contended that the $490 million arena 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. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Seattle City Councilman Tim Burgess have all maintained the deal was I-91 compliant.
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. The group has already submitted a $30 million deposit to the Maloofs.
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.