Stern: Sacramento Bidders Must Increase Offer

10:28pm: Mark Mastrov is confident his offer will be ready in time to present to NBA owners, as the Bee's Ailene Voisin tweets. "It's early," Mastrov said. "We are working on a very aggressive bid."

9:39pm: Stern said "there is a substantial variance" between the Mastrov and Hansen offers, as Bizjak, Dale Kasler and Ryan Lillis of the Bee note. The report also clarifies that a group of NBA owners will meet to see where bids stand on April 3rd, a few weeks before the April 18th Board of Governors meeting that's expected to decide the outcome of the tug-of-war over the Kings.  

9:21pm: There might be other bids that could keep the Kings in Sacramento if the Mastrov-fronted effort falls through, according to Bizjak. Stern said he's spoken with investors other than Mastrov and Ron Burkle, who's a secondary partner in Mastrov's effort, as well as current Kings minority owner John Kehriotis, who's preparing a backup bid for the team (Twitter links). 

8:36pm: Commissioner David Stern told reporters in Oakland tonight that the Mark Mastrov-led bid to keep the Kings in Sacramento must come up with more money in order to keep the team in town, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Stern is optimistic the bid will increase, but as of now it's not comparable to the package Chris Hansen and his team of investors has put together to move the team to Seattle (Twitter link).

The Seattle group has an agreement with the Maloof family, which owns the Kings, to commit $341MM for a controlling 65% stake in the team. Mastrov and company have come in with a figure slightly lower than that, though there are mitigating factors, since a Sacramento ownership group wouldn't have to repay a $75MM loan to the city, as anyone who moves the team would have to do.

The NBA's Board of Governors is expected to decide between the competing offers at a meeting in April. Yet unless Mastrov and his partners kick in more money, it might not even get that far, as Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee notes that Stern said the bid must increase to "get to the state of consideration" (Twitter link).

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