Listen to Ben Adler's 5-minute interview with Chris
UPDATE at 10:20pm Friday:
In a statement posted
late friday evening
, lead Seattle investor Chris Hansen said
his group has reached an agreement with the Maloof family to
increase its purchase price of the Sacramento Kings.
"While we already have a binding purchase agreement to
purchase the controlling interest in the team," Hansen says in the
statement, "the Seattle Ownership Group has elected to voluntarily
raise its purchase price as a sign of our commitment to bring
basketball back to our City and our high degree of
confidence in our Arena plan, our financing plan, the economic
strength of the Seattle market, individual and corporate support
for the team and, most importantly, the future of the NBA."
The statement says the Seattle group will raise its offer
"from an enterprise value of $525 million to an enterprise value of
$550 million." Since that offer is for 65 percent of the
franchise, the actual dollar amount of the offer rises from $341
million to $357.5 million.
A spokesman for the Maloof family confirmed the new
In response posted on Twitter, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson
said in part: "We know the NBA has never moved a team from a market
that has performed and where a clear path to an arena has been
demonstrated, which is why as we head into the meetings in New York
City next week we are following the process established by the
NBA. That said, we of course are prepared to maintain the
full court press we have applied over the last several months to
make sure we leave it all on the court. For all of these reasons,
we feel good about where we stand."
A source close to the ownership group seeking to buy the
Sacramento Kings and keep them from moving to Seattle says the
group will match the offer made by Seattle investors earlier this
The Seattle group's offer is reportedly worth $340 million for
about 65 percent of the team. That includes a $30 million
nonrefundable deposit, which the Sacramento group would apparently
match as well.
The current Kings owners, the Maloof family, set a 5pm Friday
deadline for the Sacramento group to submit a binding offer that
matches the Seattle group's offer. The source close to the
Sacramento group says it's focused on the process set by the NBA
There are also multiple reports from national sports writers
saying the NBA isn't operating on the Maloofs' timetable. A
second source close to the Sacramento group pointed out that the
Maloofs need three-fourths of NBA owners to move the team to
Seattle and suggested that the Maloofs may have recognized they
don't have those votes. Taken together, that would suggest
the Maloofs' 5pm deadline is somewhat moot.
Earlier Friday, former Facebook executive and 2010 California
Attorney General candidate Chris Kelly joined the group of
investors seeking to buy the Sacramento Kings and keep the team
from moving to Seattle.
"I think that there's an incredible opportunity here to keep
the Kings in Sacramento and to build a world class 21st-century
sports franchise," Kelly said in an interview Friday afternoon with
Capital Public Radio. "And our group is poised to do
The news comes ahead of a 5pm deadline set by the Kings'
current owners, the Maloof family, for the Sacramento group to
submit a binding offer that matches the offer submitted by a
Seattle group in January.
Asked whether the Sacramento group will meet the Maloofs'
deadline, Kelly said the group is primarily dealing directly with
the NBA, not the Maloofs. "But we're encouraged by a lot of what
the Maloofs have had to say about if a matching offer comes in that
we would seriously consider it," Kelly added. "So we think
that that's great progress."
Kelly's addition could help the Sacramento investors address a
new wrinkle that surfaced Thursday. The NBA has reportedly
asked the Sacramento group for an extra $30 million that would
compensate the Seattle group for the non-refundable deposit it gave
the Maloofs as part of the original deal - if that deal becomes
void due to the Kings staying put.
Also Friday, the city of Sacramento announced it's begun the
environmental review process for a potential Kings arena at the
Downtown Plaza mall. That process, subject to the California
Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), is expected to take 12-14