As April approaches, updates on the sale of the Sacramento Kings, and the competing bids put together by investments groups in Sacramento and Seattle, are coming more and more frequently. Yesterday, we heard that Sacramento City Council had agreed to move forward on a $448MM arena proposal, while Chris Hansen's Seattle group reached an agreement to buy Bob Cook's 7% share of the franchise. Here's the fallout from those stories, and the latest on the sale of the Kings:
- Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson has released a list of 24 business that have committed $50MM in team coroporate sponsorships, writes Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee. Johnson also says he plans to have 10,000 season ticket purchase pledges by the time he makes his case in front of the NBA's Board of Governors next week. HereWeBuy.org currently has over 7,500 pledges.
- Meanwhile, Johnson also said he anticipated Hansen's purchase of Cook's stake in the Kings, and will announce a countermove within the next few days. "We are going to respond," Johnson said. "We do have a plan. I'm not going to get into detail about that now. We have been positioned to make a play, and I will announce what that is in the next day or two."
- Cook himself expects another current minority owner to match Hansen's offer for his 7% share. John Kehriotis, who has talked about wanting to put together a separate bid for a majority stake in the club, said he would "maybe" make a counter-offer, according to Bizjak.
- After some uncertainty, Sacramento now has the money, the momentum, and a plan to keep the Kings, says Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee.
- One source suggests to Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game (Sulia link) that the Sacramento group's level of commitment won't be "certified" until it offers the same $30MM non-refundable deposit that the Seattle group did. Still, the NBA is currently showing no preference for either city, playing the process "straight down the middle," a source tells Bucher.