Sacramento's efforts to keep NBA Kings possibly bolstered by new lead investor Vivek Ranadive
City of Sacramento did not have financing plan for a new downtown arena on Thursday but it is still expected to come together in time for a city council vote on Tuesday.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The city of Sacramento did not reveal the terms of a financing package for a new arena on Thursday designed to keep the NBA's Kings in that city, as had been expected.
That might have been viewed as further dampening Sacramento's efforts to stop the team from relocating to Seattle, but other news proved more heartening to supporters of keeping the team there. At almost the same time as news came that the arena deal was not yet completed, reports broke that a new lead investor had emerged to help bolster a local ownership group's efforts to purchase the Kings.
The investor, Vivek Ranadive, is the chairman and CEO of TIBCO software in the Silicon Valley and also a limited partner and vice chairman of the Golden State Warriors.
Sacramento city manager John Shirey told the Sacramento Bee that Ranadive has "considerable assets" and "gives us all more assurance that they can deliver." Ranadive, who would have to sell his shares in the Warriors if the effort to buy the Kings proves successful, will join an ownership group that had been led by Mark Mastrov, founder of 24 Hour Fitness.
Mastrov's group made an earlier offer for the team that NBA commissioner David Stern said last month did not match that of the Seattle group led by Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Hansen's group reportedly paid $341 million to buy 65 percent of the team at a valuation of $525 million in an agreement it reached in January to buy the team from the Maloof family, the current owners. The Sacramento group is attempting to assemble a counteroffer to compel the NBA Board of Governors to turn down the Seattle bid. Stern said two weeks ago of the Sacramento offer that "unless it increases, it doesn't get to the state of consideration."
The Sacramento hope is Ranadive's inclusion in the group will solve that issue, though it is thought that the Seattle group would be able to increase its offer.
Shirey, meanwhile, had hoped to reveal the details of the financing plan for a new downtown arena on Thursday in advance of the first of several planned public hearings.
However, that did not happen.
"We continue to make progress and have productive discussions with the Investor Group," Shirey said in a statement released by the city. "It is important to get this right and not rush to make an artificial deadline. The bottom line for me is to get the best deal possible while adhering to the (city) council's adopted core principles, including a city commitment comparable to last year, no new taxes, and protection for the general fund."
Shirey later said at the public forum, according to the Bee, that he still expected the plan to come together in time for a city council vote on Tuesday.
"I'm still optimistic we are going to get the (sticking) points resolved," Shirey said, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Representatives of both cities are expected to plead their case before a select group of NBA owners in New York on April 3.
The NBA Board of Governors is expected to vote April 19.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @bcondotta