Mayor to Speak Before NBA in Effort to Keep Kings
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Mayor Kevin Johnson has asked for and received permission from National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern to speak to the NBA Board of Governors in March.
Johnson plans to make the case the team should be sold to a local investment group to keep the Kings owners from selling the team to buyers who would move it to Seattle. The question now is, which group?
The mayor says he is overwhelmed by the number of people interested and financially capable even though the price is steep, "You've heard the number 525 (million dollars) in Seattle. What is that number in Sacramento? I don't know at this point. But as we're talking to equity investors, we know the number is a lot higher than we thought it would be originally which is probably in the high three… three hundreds (millions.)"
A local bid would likely be a minimum of $400 million.
The mayor says he believes Seattle deserves a team, as long as it's not the Kings, "The question is, does the NBA want to keep the team in Sacramento, and I believe they do and what that will require of us to do is prepare a fair and competitive offer."
In an apparent effort to sweeten the deal a little for the Maloofs, Johnson says if the Maloof family sells to a local group, they could still maintain some level of participation with the team.
Johnson says he will follow the blueprint of San Francisco's successful bid in the 1990's that kept the Giants and built a new ballpark.
The Mayor says this will be the final act in a long saga.