Ron Burkle has long been a desired commodity among NBA heavyweights as the self-made billionaire has transformed the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins from a struggling franchise to a powerhouse, but it appears Burkle will no longer be part of the Sacramento Kings’ new potential ownership group – this according to the Sacramento Bee:
Billionaire Ron Burkle, part of the group trying to keep the Sacramento Kingsin town, won’t take an ownership stake in the team but instead will focus exclusively on building a new arena at Downtown Plaza, a source said today.
The “move”, if you will, is essentially semantics. While Burkle along with Mark Mastrov were originally the two majority investors in the plan to keep the Kings in Sacramento, the additions of Vivek Ranadive along with the Jacobs family of San Diego has opened up plenty of cash flow that will allow Burkle to focus solely on the venue and surrounding areas, something he’s already done before with Pittsburgh’s CONSOL Energy arena – an arena that has won countless awards since it’s opening in 2010.
During last week’s meetings in New York, questions arose due to Burkle’s involvement with Relativity Sports, a professional sports agency that represents NBA athletes. A few NBA owners expressed concern with a conflict of interest, so Burkle opted to only work on the arena and surrounding areas and will no longer be part of the Kings‘ potential ownership group.
As the lauded Sam Amick points out, it does not harm the pitch to keep the Kings in Sacramento:
I'm told it does nothing to diminish strength of the pitch, I'm told, and says something that NBA went to great lengths to resolve conflict.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) April 8, 2013