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Report: Maloofs Nearing Deal to Sell Sacramento Kings to Seattle Group

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
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Update 5:30 p.m.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson says he will now make every effort to find new owners for the Sacramento Kings.  Johnson says he had previously preferred to keep the team in Sacramento with the Maloof Family as owners.  But a series of online and social media postings have convinced him the Kings are for sale,
"Any ownership group who's interested has to has some local ownership," said Johnson.  "Number two, they have to keep the team in Sacramento.  Number three, a new arena, a new entertainment complex has to be part of the conversation." 
A tweet Tuesday night from a Sacramento blogger said the team had been sold.  A Yahoo Sports story Wednesday said the team was being sold to a Seattle ownership group for 500 million dollars.
Seattle's Mayor held a press conference too….to announce his re-election campaign.  But, Mayor Mike McGinn told reporters he had no knowledge of any deal, saying only, "If it's true, ain't it cool?"
Update 4:20 p.m.: Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said today's reports of a possible deal for the Maloof family to sell the Sacramento Kings to a group of Seattle investors is the first indication that the team is indeed for sale, and that he will do everything he can to keep the team from moving.
We'll have audio from the press conference on the site shortly.
Update: 3:35 p.m.: There is no confirmation from any of the parites involved the rumors of a pending deal to sell the Sacramento Kings NBA franchise to a group of Seattle businessmen, including Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is holding a press briefing at this hour to give an update on what he knows.
Update: 1:35 p.m.: Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn says he knows "as much as you do about the Sonics. But if it's true, ain't it cool?" 
Original story:
The Yahoo Sports story said the deal is for $500 million to a group led by businessman Chris Hansen and Microsoft chairman Steve Ballmer.
The group is hoping to move the team to Seattle to begin play two season in the Key Arena, starting in the 2013-2014 season, before moving into a new arena, according to sources. 
Read the full Yahoo Sports story:
Meanwhile, Sacramento officials say they have not heard anything regarding a potential sale of the Kings to the Seattle group. 
The Sacramento Bee reported that mayor Kevin Johnson couldn't be reached for comment, but he did tweet at 12:40pm: "Bottom line Sacramento: it's not over..."
Sacramento assistant city manager John Dangberg told the Sacramento Bee:"We've heard nothing from the NBA and nothing from the Kings organization and so for us, it wouldn't be appropriate for us to be commenting on rumors." 
Read the full Sacramento Bee story:

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/01/09/5102688/kings-decline-comment-on-rumored.html#storylink=cp


The Seattle Times is also reporting the rumors of the sale. 
Read the Seattle Times story:
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is expected to answer questions about the possible sale of the Kings during a press conference scheduled for 1:15 p.m. Sources said the main purpose of the press conference is for McGinn to announce he will be running for re-election.
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