“We’re going to do everything we can to put forth a competitive offer,” said Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson. Just a day after the Kings were reportedly confirmed as sold, Mayor Johnson has put together a four part plan aimed to retain the Kings in Sacramento. The plan includes finding area stakeholders and “whales” aka the bigger stake holders to put together a competitive figure to bid against the $525 million coming from the Seattle group to demonstrate to the NBA board that Sacrament is still a legitimate market. Learn more about this four-part plan below:
One day after the NBA announced that the Maloof family had reached an agreement to sell the Sacramento Kings to a Seattle-based ownership group led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer — an agreement that seems to make the team’s exit from Sacramento and the return of the Seattle SuperSonics all but a done deal — Sacramento Mayor and 12-year NBA veteran Kevin Johnson held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to introduce a four-part plan aimed at keeping the Kings in Northern California.
“Does [the Maloofs-Seattle deal] mean it’s over? Absolutely not,” Johnson said at the City Hall press conference. “Our game plan has not changed.”
For Seattle-area fans eager to see Sonics basketball once again, Johnson said: “Don’t celebrate too early.”
The first step in the so-called “Playing to Win” plan, as laid out by Think Big Sacramento, includes identifying area stakeholders willing to become part of a local investment group. After that comes identifying major equity partners (whom Johnson called “the whales”) to provide the bulk of the capital necessary to present a bid competitive with the Seattle group’s estimated $341 million offer to purchase a 65 percent interest in the Kings, based on a total valuation of $525 million. Once the money’s lined up, Johnson’s task will be to demonstrate to the NBA’s Board of Governors both that Sacramento has a legitimate commitment to build a new downtown arena to house the Kings, and that Sacramento remains a viable market vibrant enough to support an NBA franchise.
“We’re going to do everything we can to put forth a competitive offer,” Johnson said.