BY SPNW Staff 10:54AM 05/11/2013

Sonics Poll: Does $625M ‘change landscape?’

Hansen has gone all in on the bid for the Kings to make his proposed arena work. / 360 Architects

Bill Sutton, a former NBA marketing vice-president who is now a Tampa-based business consultant, told the Sacramento Bee Friday night that Chris Hansen’s increased offer to purchase the Sacramento Kings — now at an NBA record $625 million valuation — could “change the landscape” for Wednesday’s meeting in Dallas when NBA owners will vote on the team’s future.

“I’ve said all along that if things were equal, the team would stay in Sacramento,” Sutton told The Bee. “But here is a clear-cut attempt to make sure things are not equal. Is Sacramento going to up its bid? Is there any more money in Sacramento?”

The move by HansenĀ  — see Art Thiel’s latest on the development — increases pressure on NBA owners to consider rejecting the relocation committee’s unanimous vote to keep the Kings in Sacramento. It also may force the NBA to reconsider its statements that it will not consider expansion.

Within 15 minutes of Hansen’s announcement that he was adding an additional $75 million to his previous offer of $550 million, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson e-mailed a response, saying, “we’re confident about the position we’re in right now. The NBA leadership and ownership have always said that their decision would not be dictated by a bidding war.”

It would appear a little late for that sentiment, since the Sacramento group before the relocation vote agreed to kick back to the NBA its portion of annual revenue sharing once the team moves into its proposed arena downtown.

“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.”

Thanks to Hansen’s latest ante-raising move, it’s about whether NBA owners really want to say no to a guy willing to spend $625 million for a team, especially considering that the Memphis Grizzlies sold in October for $377 million. It’s also about whether Sacramento is willing and able to increase its $525 million bid.

A question still unanswered is whether the NBA will even vote on Hansen’s latest bid. After Hansen previously increased his offer by $25 million, the NBA apparently didn’t take that into account when it voted no on relocation.

It will be difficult for NBA owners Wednesday to ignore Hansen’s latest bid. Although the NBA said it doesn’t want a bidding war, everybody knows that a bidding war is in the best interest of all owners.

Chris Hansen has given the NBA a difficult problem — but a good one, although not so much for Sacramento. Which begs our question.



  • If the NBA refuses to consider this they are fools. I think the Sac group might back down.

    • This is desperation. Hansen’s bid isn’t even a concern to the Sacramento investors. is sac capable of supporting an nba franchise? that is still the only question being asked, and the answer is still YES. the nba will not allow a sale to Hansen after relocation is officially denied knowing that he wants to move the team. the best hope for seattle now is expansion in a few years, or another owner will see how much cash Hansen is throwing around and decide to sell, but that unfortunately would run you guys through all of this drama again next year. i really hope you guys get expansion, so you guys and another city dont have to deal with all of this again.

      • MarkS

        So desperate it has Sacramento fans trolling Seattle websites.

      • art thiel

        Yes, it is desperation. And like a a growing number of people in Seattle, I think expansion is preferable. But the NBA hasn’t offered it. I also understand Hansen’s concern that his PSA with the Maloofs is Seattle’s best chance for now and for a good long while.

        I don’t know if Sacramento has delivered behind the scenes the way Hansen has. If they have, they deserve to keep the team.

      • This is not desperation, this is determination. This is how Seattle gets it done.

  • jafabian

    Pro sports are not non-profit. They’re all about the money. If they deny Hansen, for ANYTHING, then what are they trying to accomplish? Principle? Sh’yeah, right. I don’t think Hansen cares if it’s the Kings or expansion but he’s ready to go and has done everything he’s been asked to do and more. The NBA let things get to this point, the NBA needs to be accountable for itself.

    • art thiel

      Accountability has never been Stern’s strong suit, not in 2008, not now. That’s how monopoly works. Where is the ABA when it’s needed?

      • jafabian

        I’d like to see FIBA continue what they were doing during the lockout and start going after NBA players. Sure, they can’t get the Lebrons and Wades but J.R. Smith, Kevin Martin, Jarett Jack….they might jump at the right contract.

  • DawgInParadise

    Your post about all the stars being aligned – politically and financially – is spot on. Hansen/Ballmer can not let this opportunity pass by without putting everything they have into it. The political winds change too frequently nowadays and what a current mayor and majority of city/county councils favor today may change by the next election cycle. So now is the time to act. And the NBA knows this all too well. I do believe that Stern and the NBA want Seattle to have a team – the market is just too big to ignore in the long term. The pressure being applied by Hansen/Ballmer will force a decision – one way or another – into Seattle’s favor. I think the expansion topic will rise to the surface and be the answer. As an eternal optimist, Sac town will keep the Kings and Seattle will get an expansion team – SuperSonics v 2.0. Hope I haven’t been hitting the kool-aid too much??!!

    • art thiel

      A lot of people in both towns are behind expansion, but none of them own an NBA team. I think Stern has been brilliantly manipulative to this point in NOT offering expansion — see what it’s got him, a dumpy team worth $625M. No one in the NBA or sports has seen anything like this, so predictions are useles. But it was a warm day — good for Kool-Aid.

      • kman09

        Seems that through all of this drama, something is not quite right.. Oh yes I think I have it, the (over) use of the word “proposed” in Sacramento. So far we have a proposed arena, on proposed un-owned sites, a proposed backup offer (that was never acknowledged), and oh the proposed growing (maybe not so fast) list of proposed investors, and the coddling of Stern and the mayor and oh Randive (and he is really a proposed owner, because he has to sell his share in his current NBA team. Now if Hansen doesn’t file suit after they are turned down on Wednesday that will be the biggest travesty.Unfortunately Stern has been playing both cities like a fiddle Art. It’s sad, but in a year with Randive head of the ownership group and no arena in sight due to the city shortfalls, and law suits lining up, the NBA WILL crawl back in the near future, and yes, it will happen.

  • seattlenative57

    The Maloofs are on record saying they will not sell the team if Hansen is denied. They will keep the team and sell to Hansen 20% control. Your move NBA.

  • Alfred Avalos

    Never believe in the Maloofs. You can’t put your faith or trust in them