Multiple sources are reporting this afternoon that a deal is in place that will move the Sacramento Kings to Seattle to begin play during the 2013-2014 NBA season. Adrian Wojnarowski from Yahoo!Sports was the first to break this exciting news to the sports fans of the Puget Sound.
The deal that would sell the Kings to the Hansen-Ballmer group for 500 million dollars is not final yet but is being described as first and goal at the one yard line. The Maloof Brothers, current owners of the Kings, will continue to have a small part of the ownership of the team but day to day operations will be handled by a Seattle management team led by local investor Chris Hansen.
The plan is for the new team to play in a renovated Key Arena for two seasons before moving into brand new digs near Safeco Field in Seattle's SODO (south of downtown) district. The new arena was approved just last year, and could house an NHL team as well.
Seattle has a grand and storied history with the National Basketball Association. Seattle's only world championship came from the Sonics in 1979. Fan support was solid (not to mention loud) throughout the history of the Seattle Supersonics.
This deal, if finalized, will at last heal some of the wounds suffered by Seattle sports fans when their team was unceremoniously torn from their grasp by Oklahoma City developer Clay Bennett when he purchased the team and took them to his home town. The team, renamed the Thunder, began play in the 2008-2009 season.