Sacramento Kings Sold to Seattle-based Ownership Group

With a new down­town sta­dium on its way, and rumors of a num­ber of NHL teams (and the league) look­ing at re-location to the Emer­ald City, Seat­tle is look­ing like it is on the verge of an sport resurgence.

Well…for every­thing except the Mariners.  They’re pretty much a lost cause.

The Mal­oof fam­ily that owns the Sacra­mento Kings has reached an agree­ment to sell the con­trol­ling inter­est in the fran­chise to a Seat­tle group intent on mov­ing it in time for next season.

Sources told that NBA teams were for­mally noti­fied Sun­day night that the Kings have been val­ued at $525 mil­lion and that the Mal­oofs and a group led by hedge fund man­ager Chris Hansen have exe­cuted a pur­chase and sale agree­ment, which the NBA con­firmed through a state­ment Mon­day morning.

The Seat­tle group intends to file for relo­ca­tion by the league’s March 1 deadline.

Although the sale still requires for­mal league approval, own­er­ship trans­fers typ­i­cally go through when they reach this phase.

The agree­ment to trans­fer the 65 per­cent major­ity stake in the Kings to the Seat­tle group headed by Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer rep­re­sents the 53 per­cent owned by the Mal­oofs and an addi­tional 12 per­cent from minor­ity owner Bob Hernreich.

The NBA announced Mon­day: “The pro­posed trans­ac­tion is sub­ject to the approval of the NBA Board of Gov­er­nors and has been referred to the Board’s com­mit­tee process for review.”

There may be an issue for the league with the own­ers of the remain­ing 35 percent.

As for the new Seat­tle sta­dium, it was Hansen him­self who led the effort to get a new one built (with pub­lic fund­ing, with a rather inter­est­ing pos­si­bil­ity on walk­ing away with either $145M or $200M if he gets one or two fran­chises to play in it.).  Until its com­ple­tion, any fran­chise (NBA or NHL) would play in the old KeyArena.  Two law­suits, how­ever, could effect sta­dium con­struc­tion from commencing.

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