As we outlined yesterday, Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson unveiled his plan for keeping the Kings in Sacramento last night during his "State of the City" address. Sacramento's bid for the Kings, led by Mark Mastrov and Ron Burkle, is said to be slightly short of what the Seattle group offered, but it is "strong and competitive," and close enough to cause debate. The NBA's Board of Governors is expected to make its decision in mid-April, but I imagine we'll get plenty of updates on the process along the way. Here are today's items:
- Mastrov and Burkle officially submitted their bid for the Kings to the NBA today, according to Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee. A source reiterated that it's "very close and competitive" to the Seattle offer, though it's hard to directly compare the two, since the Sacramento bid wouldn't have to cover costs like the city's $75MM loan to the team.
- While Johnson indicated that Mastrov will lead the charge on the bid for the Kings and Burkle will head the proposal for a new Sacramento arena, both men will contribute financially to both aspects of the project, according to Kasler, Tony Bizjak, and Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee.
- The process for how the Board of Governors will make its decision isn't entirely clear, according to a source that spoke to the Bee: "It's not like there's a manual for how to do this. This is somewhat unprecedented in the history of the league." Tom Ziller of SBNation and Sactown Royalty agrees, noting that this is nothing like what happened between Seattle and Oklahoma City leading up to the SuperSonics' move.
- Burkle is interested in building an arena in Sacramento's Downtown Plaza, which initial studies show would cost in the $400MM range — that's less than last year's estimate of the cost of an arena in the downtown railroad.
- City officials have yet to start formally negotiating with Burkle and Mastrov about an arena plan, but city manager John Shirey hopes to finalize a financing term sheet and present it to Sacramento's city council for approval in time for its April 2nd meeting, according to the Bee.