For those of you who don’t follow this or other King blogs on the regular, you’re probably not aware of the power of Sacramentians. From #HereWeStay to #CrownDownton, the passion of the purple and black is relentless and for you loyalists, you know just how powerful the grassroots movements from King fans have become.
The Maloof family may want to quietly creep out that Sleep Train Arena back door, unnoticed – but good luck – cause King fans are making noise and are determined to be heard.
Although major media like Yahoo has reported that the Maloof family has agreed in principle to sell all but a small stake of ownership in the King franchise to a Seattle based group lead by investor Chris Hansen, the sale isn’t complete and major hurdles remain – hurdles that include other offers that want to keep the Kings in Sacramento. That’s not to say the sale wont become official – but the apparent offers on the table from local potential ownership groups could still be in play and that money could end up being more than the Maloof’s would get in a sale to the Hansen group.
As Aaron Bruski of ProBasketballTalk points out, the Maloof family still owes a hefty amount of money to Sacramento and selling their ownership locally could net the family more money in the long haul:
Indeed, as reported here numerous times, Hansen would have to drastically overpay in order to outdo the Sacramento ownership groups, because Sac owners don’t have to account for a relocation fee, a city loan back to Sacramento, and the hard costs of moving. Sources say that this will total a minimum of $125 million, and should the NBA decide they want to levy a higher relocation fee to even out the playing field that number could increase.
This means that if the Maloofs sell to Hansen for $500 million, that in reality they are getting much, much less. In Sacramento, this means that it’s time for their local buyers to step up with their offers, and make the same effort the city made in the spring of 2011 when the Maloofs had most believing the team would move to Anaheim.
Bruski also mentions that an offer well below the reported $500 from Hansen and company, something in the low to mid $400 million area, could net the Kings owners a far greater profit if they were to entertain a bidding war on the franchise – not to mention, avoid being some of the most hated people in professional sports by selling their team essentially in the cover of darkness after yo-yo’ing one of the league’s most loyal fanbases for years.
In addition to simple financials, as mentioned earlier, the deal still has to go through the time consuming and rigorous process of being approved by the NBA’s board of governors, so the deal is far from official. We’ve had a handful of local parties willing to purchase the Kings in the recent past and it’s well known there are other groups out there waiting to put their money on the Kings, assuming they’re given the opportunity.
It’s a small light at the end of the tunnel and it’s slowly fading – but it’s there – and you can bet your bottom dollar Sacramento fans aren’t going to go out without a bang.