The tale of the tape: Seattle vs. Sacramento
The NBA’s Board of Governors will meet Wednesday in Dallas, where the battle for the Sacramento Kings might finally be settled. The league’s relocation committee voted April 29 to recommend against moving the Kings to Seattle. Since then, the Seattle group headed by Chris Hansen has said it won’t give up and has increased its offer.
On Monday, the NBA’s relocation/finance committee met via conference call to discuss the situation. The group, which had recommended against moving the team, did not change its position.
The decision Wednesday might not be as simple as awarding the team to the highest bidder. A group in Sacramento says it has matched the Seattle group’s original purchase offer to the team’s owners, the Maloof family, and has done everything asked by the NBA to keep the team in its city.
A comparison of the groups competing for the Kings:
Seattle: Hansen, head of the Seattle group, grew up in Rainier Valley and graduated from Roosevelt High School. He is the founder of Valiant Capital Management in San Francisco. Other investors include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Erik and Peter Nordstrom, executives of the Nordstrom stores owned by their family.
Sacramento: The group is led by billionaire Vivek Ranadive, a software mogul who is part-owner of the Golden State Warriors. Also involved is Mark Mastrov, founder of 24 Hour Fitness, Sacramento developer Mark Friedman, former Facebook executive Chris Kelly and the Jacobs family of San Diego, founders of Qualcomm. The Jacobs family will be represented by Paul Jacobs, CEO of Qualcomm.
Seattle: The Seattle group began with an offer of more than $341 million for the 65 percent of the Kings owned by the Maloofs. That would set the total value for the franchise at $525 million. The Seattle group increased that total-value offer to $550 million, and last week added another $75 million for a total value of $625 million. The offer to the Maloofs for their 65 percent would be roughly $406 million. The Hansen group has said its entire offer has been placed in escrow. The group also has a backup offer in place. The Maloofs have told NBA owners they would prefer to sell to Hansen’s group and, in fact, if that sale is rejected, they will not sell to the Sacramento group. Instead, they would sell a 20 percent share to Hansen’s group for $125 million.
Sacramento: The Sacramento group has matched Seattle’s original offer of $525 million total value, $341 million for the Maloofs’ 65 percent share. The group says it has placed 50 percent of its purchase offer into escrow.
Seattle: Hansen has a plan to build a $490 million arena on land he has purchased in the Sodo District, pending an environmental-impact study. His deal, approved last fall by the Seattle City Council and King County Council, calls for $290 million in private financing and $200 million in public funding split between the city and county. Hansen says “the ownership group has acquired 100 percent of the property necessary to construct the Arena” in Sodo and says “we have 100 percent of our private financing for the Arena committed and in place.”
Sacramento: The Sacramento group has a deal with the city for a proposed $448 million downtown arena. The ownership group would pay $190 million, with the other $258 million coming from the city. The city says it will recoup its money from parking revenues and by selling real estate.
Seattle: Hansen says he has guaranteed the NBA that the team would be a revenue-sharing payer all years it plays in Seattle. That means the team would not accept a revenue-sharing payout if it had one coming and instead would contribute to the revenue-sharing plan that was a key piece of the NBA’s collective-bargaining agreement reached last year.
Sacramento: The SportsBusiness Journal reported that the Sacramento group made a promise to the NBA to limit the amount of revenue-sharing money it would accept. The group reportedly said it would take less money than it was due while the team plays in its current home, Sleep Train Arena, and would take no money once it moved into a new arena expected to open in 2016. The Kings are expected to take in about $18 million this year.
Seattle: Hansen’s group has offered a $115 million relocation fee, nearly four times the $30 million paid by Oklahoma City Thunder owners when that team moved from Seattle in 2008. The money, nearly $4 million per team, would be split among the other 29 NBA teams.
Sacramento: Not applicable.
— Bill Reader, Seattle Times deputy sports editor