According to Sam Amick of USA Today, Ron Burkle, another prospective buyer of the Kings, met with NBA Commissioner David Stern on the other side of the country in New York City to discuss the Kings' situation.
Ryan Lillis of The Sacramento Bee confirmed Amick's report and tweeted that Burkle is possibly advocating a new arena at Sacramento's Downtown Plaza mall. JMA Ventures owns Downtown Plaza and has shown interest in the idea of an arena at the site.
Burkle, the billionaire supermarket tycoon and co-owner of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, has been linked to the Kings since trying to purchase them in 2011 when the Maloofs were trying to relocate to Anaheim.
His offer to buy the team was rejected, but the Maloofs are now selling to Chris Hansen's group that will move the team to Seattle.
Burkle is said to be teaming up with Bay Area investor Mark Mastrov to purchase the and keep the team from moving. Mastrov was the runner-up in the bid for the Golden State Warriors.
Amick says that today's meeting between Stern and Burkle is seen by Sacramento that the NBA is taking their efforts seriously:
Stern has had consistent communication with Sacramento mayor and former NBA point guard Kevin Johnson during this situation, but his decision to grant Burkle a meeting is seen by Johnson's camp as the latest sign that -- despite the widely held belief the team will wind up in Seattle -- their effort is being legitimized by the league. Stern has already indicated publicly that he will allow Johnson to make his case to the Board of Governors before they decide on the Seattle bid.
So far, Sacramento looks to have three buyers with deep pockets, the "whales," to keep the Kings in town. The deadline for the team to file for relocation is March 1, but with the recent revelation that team's minority owners have a right to buy the Maloofs share of the team, the thought of the Kings staying in Sacramento is gaining momentum.
Johnson will present his case to keep the Kings to the NBA Board of Governors in mid-April .