The trade publication Sports Business Daily, quoting anonymous sources, reported today that the NBA has asked the Sacramento investors seeking to buy the Kings to compensate Seattle's investors for the $30 million non-refundable deposit they'd lose if Seattle doesn't get the team.
Spokesmen for the NBA and the Sacramento bidders declined comment on the report.
Chris Hansen, Seattle's lead investor, gave the Maloofs, who own the Kings, a $30 million non-refundable deposit as part of his deal to buy the team.
In another Kings-related development, attorneys threatening to sue the city of Sacramento over its financing plan for a new downtown sports arena are claiming the public subsidy of the facility has been understated.
In a letter to City Manager John Shirey and the City Council, attorneys Patrick Soluri and Jeffrey Anderson wrote "there is no question that the total value of the City's financial contribution (to the arena) has not yet been disclosed." City officials have said the public contribution to the $447 million project is $258 million, most of it from revenue bonds backed by downtown parking spaces and garages.
Soluri and Anderson said that isn't the whole picture. They said the public contribution does not include the value of 1,000 parking spaces at Downtown Plaza - site of the proposed arena - or of digital billboards being granted to the private investors involved in the plan.
The attorneys also raised concerns that the value of city-owned land being given to the private investors is too low. City officials said that land is worth $38 million, but Soluri and Anderson said they have consulted with "real estate experts" who believe that number "significantly understates the value" of the land. Those experts are not identified in the letter.
Matthew Ruyak, an assistant city attorney, said the city would not comment on the letter because of impending litigation being threatened against the city by Soluri and Anderson. The attorneys have threatened to file a lawsuit claiming the city has agreed to build an arena at the Downtown Plaza without performing required environmental reviews.