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Sports

Report: NBA officials briefed on potential sale of Kings to Seattle

Report: NBA officials briefed on potential sale of Kings to Seattle
A Sacramento Kings fan Geral McDaniel displays his feelings toward the Maloof family, the owners of the team, before the Kings' NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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SEATTLE -- NBA officials have been briefed on a proposed sale of the Sacramento Kings to a Seattle-led investment group headed up by Steve Ballmer and Chris Hansen, Yahoo! Sports reported Monday.

Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports members of the league's relocation committee received rough details of the proposed $525 million sale during a conference call last Tuesday.

No sale has been announced and the Kings have yet to file for relocation, Yahoo! Sports said.

Wojnarowski, quoting his sources, says Hansen would buy 65 percent of the team -- including the Maloof brothers' 53 percent majority stake and an additional 12 percent stake from another minority owner, and that the $525 million price is based on the full value of the franchise.

Since news broke Wednesday of the possible sale of the Kings to Seattle, rumors have been flying back and forth, ranging from declarations to the sale to Hansen was a done deal to other potential owners pondering bids to buy the team and keep it in Sacramento.

Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA point guard, has vowed to do all he could to keep the team in his city. Johnson said he's had past discussions with more than one group about possibly stepping forward as owners if the Kings were up for sale.

Yahoo! earlier reported a possible sale could land the Kings in Seattle for the 2013-14 season where the team would play at KeyArena as a temporary home until a new arena is constructed.

Hansen, a Seattle native and San Francisco-based investor, reached agreement with local governments in Seattle last October on plans to build a $490 million arena near the city's other stadiums: CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field. As part of the agreement, no construction will begin until all environmental reviews are completed and a team has been secured.

Hansen's group is expected to pitch in $290 million in private investment toward the arena, along with helping to pay for transportation improvements in the area around the stadiums. The plans also call for the arena to be able to handle a future NHL franchise.

The remaining $200 million in public financing would be paid back with rent money and admissions taxes from the arena, and if that money falls short, Hansen would be responsible for making up the rest. Other investors in the proposed arena include Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and two members of the Nordstrom department store family.

The Seattle arena does face a lawsuit from the Longshore Union, who claim Seattle and King County violated the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) by signing the memorandum of understanding.

The Kings' asking price would top the NBA-record $450 million the Golden State Warriors sold for in July 2010.

The NBA's relocation committee, headed by Oklahoma City owner Clay Bennett - who moved the team now known as the Thunder from Seattle in 2008 - recommended that the league give the city a shot to follow through and handed down a March 1 deadline to come up with a plan to help finance an arena.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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