NBA Imposes Deadline For New Sacramento Arena

The NBA has the right to arrange for sale to another ownership group and move the Kings out of Sacramento if the team isn't playing in a new arena by 2017, Dale Kasler, Tony Bizjak and Ryan Lillis of The Sacramento Bee report. Vivek Ranadive and his partners, who officially assumed control of the team earlier today, have said they can have a new arena in place by 2016, but commissioner David Stern insisted the Ranadive group agree in writing to the deadline based on his misgivings about "very rosy predictions by both Seattle and Sacramento about the ease with which this building could take place."

Ranadive's spokesman said the owners are "absolutely confident" about their ability to deliver the arena on time. The league will force the Kings to meet several other benchmarks in the process of building the arena as well, including the completion of environmental reviews. If the team misses any of these deadlines, the league can engineer the team's move to another city. The group of Seattle investors that was competing to buy the team from the Maloof family agreed to a similar set of deadlines with the league.

The new Kings owners have plans for a $448MM downtown arena. The city will provide $258MM worth of funding, though that contribution could be subject to a public vote if an opposition group's petition drive is successful.

Ranadive and company own 65% of the team, and will soon own 72%, as Kasler reports. Ranadive is purchasing a 7% share that's being held in bankruptcy. Chris Hansen, the leader of the Seattle bidders, has canceled his deal to assume that share. Ranadive's $15MM price for the share is the same amount as Hansen's offer.

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