The Sacramento Kings are officially up for sale. After months of uncertainty and rumors, the cat is officially out of the bag when early Wednesday morning, a twitter announcement was made about the sale of the Sacramento Kings to a Seattle group. The tweet was quickly refuted by several sources but later on in the day, more news about an upcoming deal that was made between the Maloof family and an group led by Seattle investor Christopher Hansen and Mircosoft CEO Steve Ballmer to buy the Kings franchise for $500 million dollars, the most ever for an NBA franchise. The last team to be sold was in the New Orleans Hornets which was purchased by New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson for $338 million dollars.
News of the reported deal hit the wires and it spread like wildfire. Unlike the failed deal in Virgina Beach, this one is almost a done deal or is it? The Maloof family reportedly spurned the deal but were lured back to the table with a "sweetened" offer. Sacramento city mayor Kevin Johnson held a press conference announcing that the Sacramento Kings are officially up for sale and promises to look for a local group of buyers that will not only buy the team but they will keep the franchise in the city and build a new arena for the team. This seems like a very tall order for Sacramento who invested heavily in trying to build a new arena for the team only for it to blow up in their face.
Time is ticking for the city who's mayor promises to do whatever he can to keep the Kings in the city. The new owners will have to file for relocation by March 1, 2013 and they are looking to play in Seattle for the 2013-2014 season. Seattle was snake bitten a few years ago when the new Sonics owners left for Oklahoma City. If the deal goes through, the team will play in Key Arena for a couple of years until the new basketball facility is built. Seattle had the same problem as Sacramento, an aging outdated arena. But the Hansen group has found a way to finance a new building (the main caveat is finding a tenant). Will the Maloof family sell the franchise? Stay tune folks.