Chris Hansen threw down again Friday in his fight to bring the NBA Kings from Sacramento to Seattle, adding $75 million to his bid of $550 million. Here’s the text of his statement posted just after noon on his website, sonicsarena.com:
“In an effort to further demonstrate the extent of our commitment to bring basketball back to Seattle, we have elected to voluntarily increase our proposed purchase price for the Sacramento Kings NBA Franchise by $75 million — from an enterprise value of $550 million to $625 million. In conjunction with our revised offer, we have also guaranteed to the NBA that the Franchise would be a revenue sharing payer in all years in Seattle.
“We would also like to take the opportunity to again point out just how far ahead our Arena project is:
- The ownership group has acquired 100% of the property necessary to construct the Arena.
- We have 100% of our private financing for the Arena committed and in place.
- After being approved by the City and County Councils the Arena MOU/legislation was signed into law by the Seattle Mayor and King County Executive on October 16, 2012. The referendum period expired 30 days later.
- We engaged our Arena architects two years ago and have completed our detailed design schematics and costing.
- We have filed for our Master Use Permit and are well underway with the Environmental Review Process, which we expect to conclude late this year.
“While we appreciate that this is a very difficult decision for the league and owners, we hope it is understood that we really believe the time is now to bring the NBA back to Seattle, and that it is paramount that we do everything we can to put Seattle’s best foot forward in this process.”
Hansen’s late bid is intended to influence owners who will vote Wednesday in Dallas on the relocation committee’s 7-0 recommendation to deny Hansen’s proposed move. The NBA this week reportedly asked Sacramento bidders making a counteroffer to put into escrow the entire amount offered the Maloof family by Hansen — $341 million for 65 percent of the team.
The Maloofs last month said the Sacramento bid was insufficient compared to the purchase and sale agreement they signed with Hansen in January. Hansen since raised the amount $25 million, but the Board of Governors, according to a source, did not consider the additional $25 million.
The bidders have since said they have put down 50 percent of the original $341 million.
But the owners have not voted on the sale of the franchise, only the denial of relocation.
Within minutes of the Hansen announcement, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who led the counter-offer’s organization, emailed that he remained confident.
“The NBA leadership and owners have always said that their decision would not be dictated by a bidding war,” the mayor wrote. “This was always about whether Sacramento, a community that has supported the NBA for 28 years, can put together a plan and organization to ensure the franchise can rebuild and thrive. The ownership group, the city, and the community have shown the NBA, without any shred of doubt, that the Sacramento Kings belong in Sacramento.
“I believe the NBA owners realize that there is far more to think about than just an increased bid. They know what this story means to the league. We look forward to talking with all of them again in Dallas.”