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Seattle, Sacramento make cases; Stern says decision could take longer than expected

Apr 3, 2013, 7:23 PM EDT

*Jul 24 - 00:05*

The news you actually care about out of Wednesday’s combined meeting of the NBA owners’ sale and relocation committees will leak out over the next few days. That’s when we’ll see which side gained an advantage (if any) and where the owners are leaning on the question of where the Kings will play next season — Seattle or Sacramento.

In a Manhattan hotel Wednesday, both groups make their pitches to the owners.

David Stern came out of the meeting and basically went to the Rasheed Wallace staple — “both sides played hard.” Here is what he said, via Ben Golliver at Sports Illustrated.

“We heard a day full of extraordinary presentations of a complex real estate, arena, construction timelines, potential obstacles and team funding in two really great cities,” Stern said. “It was a long day without any breaks and both sides made, in my view, very, very strong presentations.”

Then he gave the only bit of real news to come directly out of the meeting — the owners may not be ready to vote come the Board of Governors’ meeting April 18-19.

“It’s not at all clear what our precise timeline is for a final determination here is because the most important thing is doing all the work that has to be done,” Stern said. “We’re doing it as fast as collectively can together. It may well slide past the board meeting, but I wouldn’t expect it, if it does, to slide by a lot. Because there’s a combined interest in having some clarity come to this situation.”

The Seattle group is led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. They have an agreement to purchase 65 percent of the team, which is valued at $525 million, and have applied for relocation to take the team to Seattle. The team would play in the Key Arena in Seattle for a few seasons while a new arena is constructed (it is in environmental review). They came out confident, according to reports.

However, whatever happened inside the room Sacramento apparently won the press conferences — they were looser. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, has put together a strong counter offer led by billionaire Vivek Ranadive to go with 24-Hour Fitness owner to lead a group buying the team, and with Ron Burkle behind a deal to get a new arena done in downtown Sacramento.

So now we wait. And we could be waiting more than just a couple weeks for the answer.

  1. cantonbound13 - Apr 3, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Vince McMahon 2.0

  2. spthegr8 - Apr 3, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    I can’t WAIT until he retires!! Maybe we can get a 2 for 1 deal and he can get take that old, senile, show boating, spot light stealing, it’s ALL about me referee named Joey Crawford into retirement with him!! Good riddance too the both of you!! A lil off topic but……I’m Just Saying!!!!

  3. cranespy - Apr 3, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    Sacramento should get to keep their team. Seattle should have to wait until Vegas or Kansas City is ready and 2 expansion teams are added.

    • MyTeamsAllStink - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:39 AM

      Vegas isn’t getting an arena let alone a team anytime soon.

  4. pensfan1 - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    How soon we forget what it felt like. At the time Clay Bennett was the biggest jerk in the world and Stern the puppet. What they did to Seattle and basketball is what Seattle now wants to do to Sacramento except with Chris Hansen as the new Clay Bennett. And if I remember correctly Stern’s words at the time were Seattle would never see a team again.

    A move here seems doomed from the start. Adding potentially two more teams (NBA and NHL) to the four already here (MLB, NFL, MLS, WNBA) and all of the other minor league teams from hockey to baseball to lacrosse and the fan base is spread way too thin. Cities 10 time bigger don’t have that many! And Seattle can’t fill seats to any of them except football and possibly soccer, if they’d open up the whole stadium. And what do we do when all of them want a new stadium or arena (at the same time)? Heck, we’re still paying for the Kingdome that was imploded 13 years ago!

    • eugenesaxe - Apr 4, 2013 at 3:34 PM

      No, your memory is crap. Stern said all along he wanted a team back in Seattle. And Hanson is nothing like Bennett-he’s telling the world up-front he’s buying the team to move it.

  5. allidoiswin55 - Apr 4, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    Pensfan1 – You do not represent the majority or even the minority of Seattle fans.!!

    First you are completely wrong about comparing the Seattles ownership group to Clay Bennet, that makes you look like an idiot.

    Bennet bought the team from Howard Schultz with the promise to stay in town, then almost immediately started working an angle to move.

    He took a strong fan base and forced them to give up because he traded away all stars and all our talent and started playing no bodies. He put in marketing plans to sabotage fan attendance not to mention he raised the ticket prices. (had emails and voicemails saying he was going to move and planned to from the start and was lieing and trying to discourage fans to make the move easier!!!) <——

    He came up with Rediculous arena deals and designs that had absolutely no chance in he11 of being approved. Literally no chance what so ever.

    Pointed out the potential for '' future'' loses of revenue with the key arena but at the time wasn't loosing money. Held the city hostage for potential loss IN THE FUTURE NOT THE PRESENT.

    He twisted the value of the team into something that wasn't even nba worthy, then moved them away after he got a bunch of lottery picks. And we all know what happened now..

    The seattle group is NOTHING LIKE Bennet because he's coming out with an well thought out plan, idea and concept up front. Not a lie he is selling the city and not being totally supported by the commish who happened to be his personal friend. He isn't pretending hell keep them their just to uproot them a year later.

    That was SONIC GATE because it was shady, taking another cities team isn't nice, but in no way is it a shady business endeavour when it's known and could have been prevented of Sac didn't wait until the last minute. What happened in Seattle was Rediculous and the City had no chance to save the team because Bennet played a conniving role until it was too late.

    Lastly the NBA will be one of the major sports in the NW, your comparing different levels of the same sport including minor league. If anything the nba takes their viewers, NOT the other way around. It would be NFL, NBA, MLB, then MLS in that order the others will fight for fans exactly how they do in every other big or small market.

  6. loungefly74 - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    I’m siding with Sacramento on this one. Sorry, Seattle, you lost out when you let the Sonics walk out the door to OKC.

    I want Seattle to have a team but not this way. I’m fine with expansion. There is enough talent available in the world to create a few more teams. Would love to see Columbus, Kansas City, Las Vegas get teams…yeah, i know it’s a pipe-dream…

  7. liddogg33 - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    Who gives a SH** about what side you people are on!!! Seattles presentation DUMPED on Sacramento’s just as SEATTLE DUMPS on Sacramento. Say what you all want to but ill be watching the sonics in key arena next year BOOK IT!!!

    • nodaclu - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:56 AM

      Well aren’t you just a *sweetheart* of a little boy!

      Go back to your room now. The grown-ups are talking…

      • liddogg33 - Apr 4, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        No need to go to my room!!! I’d rather go watch the SONICS!!!!

    • spthegr8 - Apr 4, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      Cool story,bro!!!!

  8. asimonetti88 - Apr 4, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    I don’t care who gets this team (either way someone gets screwed) but it seems to me that if Kevin Johnson put as much effort into the rest of his mayorship as he did into getting an arena, Sacramento wouldn’t have been named the 5th most miserable place to live in America last year. Homes are foreclosing all over the place, home values are rapidly declining, double digit unemployment is combined with it being one of the hardest places to find a job in America, and the guy only seems to care about spending public funds to subsidize large private companies and covering up his sex scandals and ethics violations.

  9. praetorian12 - Apr 4, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    Forget the fact Sacramento hasn’t matched Hansen’s offer. Forget Seattle’s thriving econcomy and 12th largest market. Forget the fact Scaramento hasn’t even purchased the land it needs to build its arena at the plaza. Forget the sentimentality of Sacramento (and Seattle, for that matter). Forget all of Sacramento’s talking points, too.

    Who’s gonna make the NBA more money? Who’s gonna have their arena built first?

    (Eating popcorn and soda…. watching…)

  10. liddogg33 - Apr 4, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Any one of you refusing to see the reality in this situation is in pure denial!!! I really wish there was a way to prevent a city from losing its team but apples to apples it’s quite obvious there is not true comparison. Seattles presentation is filled with facts built over the last 883 days and Sacramento’s is simply based on pipe dreams and fictitious lollipops!!! All the insults in the world cannot change those facts!!!!

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