By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
March 29, 2013
The battle between Sacramento and Seattle over the future of the Kings just got a lot more interesting. The Sacramento City Council last week approved a nonbinding term sheet for a $448 million downtown arena. The city will contribute $258 million to the project, with a group of prospective Kings owners paying the $190 million balance.
The arena deal is a major milestone in Sacramento’s quest to keep the team. NBA Commissioner David Stern rejected a Sacramento proposal a few weeks ago, saying dollar-for-dollar it failed to measure up against the Seattle bid, led by investor Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The new Sacramento bid, headed by 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov and Pittsburgh Penguins owner Ron Burkle, is much more valuable. NBA owners will have a very difficult decision to make when they vote on the Kings’ future on April 18.