The chances that Northern California will maintain its current NBA quotient looks a lot better as of Monday afternoon.
A committee of team owners said they wanted to keep the Kings basketball team where it is now — in Sacramento. The team majority owners, the Maloof family, tentatively accepted an offer to sell it to a group in Seattle.
Here’s the terse official word from the NBA website:
The NBA announced today that the league’s Relocation Committee has unanimously recommended that the NBA Board of Governors deny the application of the Sacramento Kings to relocate to Seattle. The Board will convene during the week of May 13 to vote on this matter
The committee’s recommendation is not final, but it is expected to carry a lot of weight.
Sacramento fans have worried about losing the Kings ever since the Maloofs agreed in January to an offer by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who want the team to come to Seattle.
More background from the Sacramento Bee:
Today’s vote followed a two-hour conference call by committee members – and came after months of unprecedented arm wrestling over the lowly Kings. The Maloofs agreed in January to sell their 65 percent share to the Hansen group for $341 million. Hansen upped the offer to $357 million earlier this month.
A group of eight investors recruited by Mayor Kevin Johnson and led by Palo Alto software executive Vivek Ranadive submitted a proposal to keep the team in town. The deal matched Hansen’s original offer of $341 million, according to a letter the Maloofs sent earlier this month to the NBA.
Both cities pitched multimillion-dollar subsidies for new arenas, with the Sacramento City Council tentatively approving a $258 million subsidy. Seattle, which lost its SuperSonics to Oklahoma City in 2008, offered the larger and richer market. But Sacramento touted its long record of loyalty to the NBA and its status as a one-team town.