A committee of NBA owners has voted against moving the Kings to Seattle today, according to ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst (on Twitter). A full group of NBA owners have to vote on the proposed move next week, but the the NBA's Board of Governors is expected to follow the recommendation of (Twitter link).
The vote to keep the Kings in Sacramento was unanimous with all 12 owners shooting down the Seattle move, sources told Marc Stein of ESPN.com (via Twitter). The final vote from the league will come on May 13th, which will make the decision official.
The Maloof family reached agreement with a Seattle group led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft chairman Steve Ballmer that would have turned over a 65 percent controlling interest in the club. The Maloofs will not issue a statement on today's news, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
While the Seattle group has worked hard to lobby for the Kings, Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson has fought hard to keep the team in his city. Johnson eventually lined up a Sacramento-based ownership group headed by businessman Vivek Ranadive and secured public financing to help build a brand new arena. Today's decision doesn't directly mean that Ranadive's group will come away with the club, but it certainly bodes well for them.
Hansen's Seattle group appeared to have a great deal of momentum, but in recent weeks commissioner David Stern has reportedly begun backing the Sacramento group in their efforts. Stern admitted that the Sacramento group's offer didn't match the Seattle bid, but claimed that it came close. Meanwhile, many in basketball believed that a Seattle team would mean more money being put into the league's revenue sharing system and that a new arena could be built more quickly there than in Sacramento.
A decision on the matter from the BoG was expected to come at a meeting in New York earlier this month, but it was postponed for undisclosed reasons.