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'More Than 2' Major Partners Could Put up Money to Buy Kings

Sacramento investors plan to make a counter-offer to buy the Sacramento Kings from the Maloof brothers.

More than two "major equity partners" have shown interest in funding the large majority of a bid to purchase the Sacramento Kings and keep them in town, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said Wednesday.

A day earlier, he announced 19 local developers and business-people who had each pledged at least $1 million toward a bid to buy the team from the Maloof brothers–he said since then, he has added two more people to that list.

"We're empathetic to what's happening in Seattle," Johnson told reporters at a press conference. "We just want them to know we're going to fight like crazy to keep our team here."

Over the weekend, a pending deal was announced to sell the team to a Seattle-based group for a rumored $340 million, but it must still be approved by NBA officials. Johnson hopes to present a counter-offer to keep the team in California, and will make his case before league officials in April.

Citing the 2010 sale of the Golden State Warriors where a higher bid by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison was unsuccessful in buying the team, Johnson said Sacramento has a chance against the wealthy likes of Seattle's Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer.

"The deepest pockets don't always end up the winning bidder," he said. "When has a team ever been bought and relocated when a city has done everything that has been asked of it?"

Johnson said he plans to talk with NBA Commissioner David Stern Thursday and will likely announce the so-called "whale" who will fund the majority of the city's bid to buy the team next week. 

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Where do you think the team will play its next season? Tell us in the comments section below.

Roberto January 24, 2013 at 07:28 PM
So what, let em leave. If they stay I think we'll be totally flabbergasted at the new, inflated cost of a Kings ticket. Add $15.00 to park, $10.00 for a beer and 12.00 for a plate of nachos. Take your wife and a kid with you? Forget it. The name for the new stadium - 'No Hope- No Change.' The best thing that could happen to Sacramento is to lose the Kings AND the mayor. It's time.
Mark Gold January 24, 2013 at 11:40 PM
I have to disagree. The average price of a Kings ticket has gone down in the past 6 years, so unless the price jumps more than $10 a ticket, prices shouldn't be more expensive than they've already been. If the team moves to an arena downtown then take light rail, a bus or bike to the games (it's cheaper and better for the environment). As for concessions, I'm pretty sure, the prices are no worse than any other NBA arena, which means that they're all overpriced. If the Kings leave then the city of Sacramento and the surrounding counties and cities (including Davis) will take a critical financial hit. The team is good for the local economy and good for morale. The big issue with the Kings is the Maloofs. They've taken the team, which actually was a serious contender from 2003-2005 and slowly run the organization into the ground. In addition, they've done nothing but disrespect the fans with all of this back and forth with regards to selling the team, and they're last minute backing out of the new arena deal. The team needs to stay put where they belong. If we lose them it will be a long time before we can secure another major sports franchise.

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