Almost immediately after the city of Seattle lost their beloved Supersonics to Oklahoma City and watched the franchise become the Kevin Durant-led Thunder, fans began putting plans together to bring a team back to town. Over the last couple of years, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has been scrambling to keep the Kings from being shipped out.
Bay Area hedge fund manager Chris Hansen has even released renderings of what a brand new basketball stadium would look like should an NBA team be moved to Seattle.
Basically, Seattle may wind up doing to Sacramento what Oklahoma City did to them.
However, according to Nick Monacelli, Sac-Town has brought in a fourth investor in an effort to finalize a plan to build a new, ultra-modern stadium in the city’s downtown area.
— nickmonacelli (@nickmonacelli) March 26, 2013
CBS Sports provides us with a statement from Johnson, who himself starred in the NBA as a guard playing alongside Charles Barkley with the Phoenix Suns.
“It’s a great day in Sacramento!!!!!” Johnson wrote. “I’m pleased to announce an agreement w/ Burkle-Mastrov-Ranadive group on a public-private partnership to build a new ESC at DT Plaza Mall. Consistent w/our core tenets, the deal avoids new taxes, protects the City on the Kings loan, and ensures no net impact to the general fund. For a comparable investment to the 2012 deal, we’ve secured more private investment & greater econ development potential at the new site. The new ownership, historic in its reflection of our city’s diversity, will invest up to $1B in Sac – a strong sign of confidence in our mkt.
“They will also make a 35-year commitment to keep the Sacramento Kings right here where they belong!” he continued. “Once again, we’re proving the strength of our market — both as host to an NBA team, but as an emerging region with global potential. I’m excited to talk further about the deal with my Council colleagues and the public.”
Whether or not the Kings remain in the capitol of California or move up to the Pacific Northwest remains to be seen.
What we do know was that this was a huge weekend for the future of NBA basketball in Sacramento.