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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 ESPN.com 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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