Despite numerous rallies by fans in Seattle, Washington, the Sacramento Kings will likely stay in California. The news came as a disappointment to many in the Northwest, who were stripped of their NBA team when the Seattle Supersonics were moved to Oklahoma City.
The new information came when an NBA ownership committee studying the situation voted unanimously that the Kings should remain where they are at.
A formal vote of all 30 owners is expected to take place on May 13. However, the full body is expected to ratify the recommendation made by the 12 owners of the relocation and finance committees.
The move is a victory for Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who had no competing ownership bid, no plan for a new arena, and no working relationship with the team’s owners in January. But Johnson previously staved off a bid to move the Sacramento Kings to Anaheim in 2011.
Hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer agreed to purchase the Sacramento Kings from the Maloof family for a valuation of $525 million. They later upped the purchase price for 65 percent of the team to $550 million. But Johnson has organized a group of investors led by software company tycoon Vivek Ranadive.
Both Seattle and Sacramento have viable arena plans. However, the NBA ownership committee apparently decided Sacramento had the better option. Shortly after the vote, Sacramento mayor Johnson tweeted:
“That’s what I’m talking about SACRAMENTO!!!!! WE DID IT!!!!! I’ve never been prouder of this city. I thank the ownership group, city leaders, but most of all the BEST FANS IN THE NBA!!! I want to take my hat off to Seattle.you’re a great city,had a great proposal, unbelievable fans & no doubt deserve a team in the future.”
Along with declaring victory, the mayor commended Seattle for its effort to steal the Kings away, saying that the Pacific Northwest city “no doubt deserves a team in the future.”
Do you think the Sacramento Kings should move to Seattle?