Source: Sacramento Group Deposited 50% Of Bid, Agreed To Concessions With NBA
The Sacramento group bidding to keep the NBA Kings in town on Friday "deposited 50 percent" of its offering price, which is believed to be $341M, in an escrow account in an attempt to "nail down a deal" with the Maloof family for their 65% interest in the team, according to a source cited by Kasler & Bizjak of the SACRAMENTO BEE. A coalition fighting Sacramento's tentative deal for a new Kings arena separately "sued the city, claiming it's suppressing evidence of secret subsidies to the developers of the project" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 5/4). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Daniel Kaplan cites a source as saying that the NBA "negotiated key concessions" from the Sacramento group in the days leading up to last week's recommendation by the Relocation Committee not to relocate the team to Seattle. Sources added that the group "agreed to cover a significant amount of any cost overruns for the franchise’s proposed new arena in Sacramento ... and agreed to a timeline of construction goals." One source said that the group also "agreed to limit how much revenue sharing it would take while playing in the team’s current arena and would end the club’s status as a revenue recipient altogether once moved into the new arena." The Kings are "projected to get about $18 million in supplemental revenue sharing in the coming season." A source said that the figure will be "lower in future years and nonexistent when the team moves into the planned new arena in 2016 because of an expected increase in locally derived revenue" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/6 issue).
EXCLUDING EXPANSION? In Seattle, Bob Condotta wrote it "seems like such an easy solution to a complex and increasingly contentious problem: Why not let Sacramento keep the Kings and give Seattle an expansion franchise?" But while the way the NBA has "handled the Seattle/Sacramento battle has veered all over the map, with ever-changing deadlines and committee makeups, the league's stance on expansion has been consistent throughout -- it's not on the table right now" (SEATTLE TIMES, 5/5). In Phoenix, Dan Bickley wrote Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson's efforts to keep the Kings have "provided a blueprint" for Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers to "possibly eliminating the biggest relocation threat facing the Coyotes" in a prospective Seattle franchise. Had hedge fund manager Chris Hansen, who is leading the Seattle group's bid, "delivered the Kings as hoped, Seattle was thought to be an immediate NHL relocation/expansion candidate." Bickley: "Thanks to the work of Johnson, the city of Glendale now has a road map in how to save a franchise, galvanizing the business community in the hour of need" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 5/5).