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Seattle’s Chris Hansen funded anti-arena effort in Sacramento

Aug 16, 2013, 11:01 PM EDT

source: APWhen the NBA owners voted against relocating the Kings from Sacramento to Seattle back in May, that effectively ended the pursuit to purchase the team by a Seattle-based ownership group led by Chris Hansen.

Even after the battle was officially over, however, Hansen chose to keep fighting.

From Sam Amick of USA Today:

Seattle-based hedge fund manager Chris Hansen, who tried and failed to buy the Kings and relocate them to the Emerald City earlier this year, was revealed as the private investor in an anti-arena effort in Sacramento on Friday by California’s Fair Political Practices Commission. The organization sued the law firm Loeb & Loeb on Thursday in an attempt to force them to disclose whose $80,000 had been spent to gather signatures that could have derailed the city’s arena effort that is required to keep the Kings.

According to Gary Winuk, chief of the enforcement division for the FPPC, Hansen donated $100,000 to gather the signatures necessary to put the arena to a vote because of the $258 million in public subsidy. If the effort was successful and the arena wasn’t built by the NBA’s required completion timeline (reportedly 2017), then new owner Vivek Ranadive and his group that bought the team for a league-record $535 million in mid-May would be at risk of losing the team and Seattle, conceivably, could be back in the mix.

It was a long shot to say the least, and an underhanded play to leave the door open ever so slightly for Seattle to remain in the mix, despite the fact that so much would need to happen over the next few years in terms of a failure to build a new arena in Sacramento for the NBA to even consider relocating the Kings once again.

Hansen released a statement, of course, apologizing for his actions while trying to distance the ownership group from what he called a personal decision.

From Sports Radio KJR in Seattle:

I have not agreed to provide any further political contributions and do not intend to make any further contributions.

I would also just point out that the contribution was made in my personal capacity and not on behalf of our ownership group or my partners. In fact, I have never discussed the contribution with them to date.

While I’m sure everyone can appreciate how easy it is to get caught up the heat of battle, with the benefit of hindsight, this is clearly a decision I regret. I wish the city of Sacramento and Kings fans the best in their efforts and they have my commitment not to have any involvement in their arena efforts in the future.

The question now becomes just how much this will hurt Seattle’s chances of gaining an NBA franchise in the future. It would seem, at the very least, that the city would need to find a new leader, or perhaps even a new ownership group to head up these efforts if it wants to appeal to the league’s sensibilities.

  1. 69jaredallen69 - Aug 16, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    And Stern didn’t want this guy to have a team…they are cut from the same cloth, pure sleaze

    • badintent - Aug 17, 2013 at 1:52 AM

      Stern didn’t want Seattle to get a new team for the same reason he didn’t want Vancouver to ever get a new team. He hates the North West for some reason related to his huge ego, and greasy garment connections.Seventh Ave smatta. Rags,cloth , BS and smuckism.That’s our boy Dave. You want some mustard on that matza balldog ?

      • law1orde - Aug 17, 2013 at 2:41 AM

        This is directed to badintent. I realize that probably 99% of Seattle fans are very nice people and fans of the game but I have read several comments here by numbskulls like you who give your wonderful city a bad name. I have read Anti-Semitic comments by several Seattle fans in connection with Commissioner Stern. I hope you are a young, immature person who will later grow up and be embarrassed by your remark here. If you are an adult and hold these views, I don’t think there can be any forgiveness or understanding of what you wrote here.

      • joegalvan02 - Aug 17, 2013 at 7:01 AM

        i dont know if there is any geographically-based bias.

        but i do know that Stern (and the rest of the relocation committee) didnt want Seattle to move the Kings because SAC’s new ownership agreed to suspend their share of revenue sharing for the foreseeable future.

        Stern may in fact hate Canada and the Pac-NW. however, this particular decision was made because he and the owners love their bottom line much more.

      • badintent - Aug 18, 2013 at 10:56 PM

        There is a small group of owners that don';t like Stern. The ones with brains, not silver spoons in their months

      • beagle11 - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:37 AM

        Having Seattle vacant adds more value to the league than having the Sonics back. An open larger market will always be used as a bargaining chip when teams have trouble negotiating new stadium deals with their municipalities and cities

      • badintent - Aug 18, 2013 at 11:02 PM

        I agreed to a point. I lived in Vancouver during the Grizz mess and Stern had sent up this team to fall, insisting that they hired Stu Stupid Jackson as GM.. Inspite of having below .300 seasons, the fan base was loyal and proved better attendance records than most other losing teams in the States. Cities like San Diego , KC, Minny, etc are still vacant after losing teams too, so I don’t think Seattle as a standalone location holds that much weight in the location to be name game.

  2. harper2 - Aug 16, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Anddd I no longer have sympathy for Seattle and their fight to get an NBA team back.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 17, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      Must be nice to judge 650,000 people on the actions of one man. I should start simplifying life like that.

  3. mrlaloosh - Aug 16, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    Is it any surprise that this underhanded tactic would come from the city of Seattle?
    All that rain has given them fungus of the brain. The hemorrhoid of the North West.

  4. jrazz22 - Aug 16, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    All you have to go is read comments from Seahawk and sonic fans on here to realize how pathetic they truly are up there.

  5. justjoevideo - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    this is a non story

  6. jjp24601 - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    The NBA needs to permanently ban hanson from having any involvement with any nba team. This guy is a lunatic.

  7. blackhawks2010 - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    Sacramento will lose the Kings in 5 years max. Total joke fan base.

  8. superseahawk - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    Don’t paint all of us Seattlites with one brush fellas. There’s awful fans for every team. I didn’t want Seattle to gain a team at Sacramento’s expense, and there’s a lot of people here who feel the same. Your willingness to trash Seattle fans as a whole is narrow minded. I want the Sonics back badly, it sucks losing a team and I’m glad Sacramento didn’t have to go through it like we did. Expansion is the way I want a team, not relocation.

  9. seabronco - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    I love this guy. Win at all costs. Bravo Chris Hanson.

  10. nickmiller63 - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:58 AM

    But he lost, and now he’s probably so lost that he can’t be part of a future ownership group.

  11. limonadamas - Aug 17, 2013 at 1:08 AM

    A league-record $535 million? In the end, the only ones who make out like bandits are guys like Frank McCourt and the Maloofs. smh….

  12. jdubb84 - Aug 17, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    New franchise. Start fresh, so nobody’s panties get rolled up in the process

  13. seattlenative57 - Aug 17, 2013 at 2:53 AM

    What this post fails to mention is that the donation was perfectly legal. The violation (not illegality) was the failure of the law firm to disclose the donors name (Hansen). This is a tempest in a teapot. The probable fine will be minimal and the NBA will continue to seek public subsidies and monied owners to join their lot. This will be quickly forgotten, especially by the greed-riddled NBA hierarchy.

  14. MyTeamsAllStink - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    as sneaky is this is I see why he did it.He’s playing all his cards.That being said it makes him look like a spoiled child who didn’t get his way.

  15. whoisrdymlz - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    This should surprise no one. This is a hedge fund manager behaving like a hedge fund manager. It is neither illegal or immoral.

    No judgement passed on the city of Seattle either. They still deserve their Sonics.

  16. swu32733 - Aug 18, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    Chris Hanson is based in San Francisco not Seattle. Try to get some of your facts correct.

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