Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson announced today he hopes to gather pledges for 10,000 Sacramento Kings season ticket purchases to bring with him when he makes his case to the NBA in New York next week to keep the team in town.
The mayor said he also will bring a list of 25 local businesses that have pledged to invest $50 million in corporate sponsorships of the team over the next five years, if the team stays in Sacramento.
The moves are part of his effort to persuade the league Sacramento has the corporate and fan support to keep the team.
In another twist in the Kings saga, according to court documents, the Seattle group seeking to buy the Kings has signed a tentative $15.1 million deal in bankruptcy court for another seven shares of the team, owned by Sacramento businessman Bob Cook. The group, led by San Francisco fund manager Chris Hansen, also has a tentative deal to buy 65-percent share the Seattle group from the Maloof family, current managing partners of the team.
The Hansen bankruptcy bid is not final, court officials said. Current minority owners now have the right to match that bid in the next 15 days.
The Seattle's 65-percent share purchase will be subject to a vote of NBA team owners in April.
Mayor Kevin Johnson this morning said he is aware of the bankruptcy court proceedings, and said his team will announce a counter-move in the next few days.
"Chris Hansen did put a bid in," Johnson said. "All of us anticipated that. We are going to respond. We do have a plan. I'm not going to get into detail about that now. We have been positioned to make a play and I will announce what that is in the next day or two."
Call The Bee's Tony Bizjak, (916) 321-1059. Follow him on Twitter @tonybizjak.
Here is the list of corporate sponsors who have pledged $50 million in support for the Kings over the next five years, released by the mayor's office today:
Amador Stage Lines AT&T Bell Brothers Heating and Air Conditioning Buzz Oates Group of Companies Comcast DBI Beverage Sacramento El Dorado Hills Town Center Gorban Realty Hensel Phelps Iron Mechanical/Ayden Group Jiffy Lube Markstein Beverage Company McClellan Park McDonalds o1 Communications Pizza Guys Subway SureWest/CCI The Sleep Train, Inc. U.S. Bank VSP Global Western Health Advantage Zoom Imaging Solutions, Inc. Sacramento VIP Limo