Tuesday, May 21, 2013

NBA votes to keep Kings in Sacramento

The Kings will stay in Sacramento rather than move to Seattle after the NBA ruled that the team should remain where they are. The decision brings to an end a saga which began in January when the family of George Maloof, which owns a majority interest in the team, looked at the possibility of moving the team to Seattle after failing to persuade the city of Sacramento to build a new arena. The Maloofs reached a deal to sell the team to a local investment group led by Seattle hedge fund manager Chris Hansen. The city of Seattle has been without its own basketball team since the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City in 2008. However, the mayor of Sacramento, Kevin Johnson, vowed to start a campaign to keep the Kings in California’s capital and he put together a team that promised to match Hansen's bid. The group also persuaded the city council to back a proposal for a new $450million arena. NBA Commissioner David Stern is pleased that a resolution has been found, saying to NBA betting news reporters: "It's nice to see two great cities so interested in an NBA franchise, but the winner here is Sacramento. “It is my expectation that we will now be able to reach a deal with the Maloofs.” Last month, a committee of NBA owners voted that the team should stay in Sacramento, but Hansen vowed to fight on, raising his bid for a controlling interest in the Kings to $406million, which valued the team at $625million. Punters who bet on NBA always favoured the status quo, which is how it has prevailed. Meanwhile, Johnson believes the construction of a new arena will create jobs and provide more economic development opportunities for Sacramento but accepts that Seattle deserves a team of its own, saying: "They know what it feels like to lose a team. We just don't want that to happen to us."

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