After nearly a week of silence following the rebuke by NBA owners of his offer to buy and relocate the Sacramento Kings, Chris Hansen said he plans to continue with the SoDo arena project and to “work with the League regarding opportunities that may arise to return an NBA franchise to our City.”
Hansen’s statement on sonicsarena.com contained little new information other than making clear his intent to persevere despite a 22-8 vote to reject relocation in a meeting in Dallas Wednesday, and the subsequent sale of the Kings for $535 million to a group that emerged after Hansen initially offered $525 million in January to the Maloof family that owned the team.
The congratulatory, conciliatory remarks gave no indication that Hansen was interested in any legal challenge to the decision to reject his offer.
Hansen congratulated Mayor Kevin Johnson and Sacramento fans and said there was “mutual respect” for what both sides went through and that the bidding was never about “Seattle fans versus Sacramento fans.”
He wrote, “This process was instead about our group and our city putting our best foot forward in an honest and transparent way to return basketball to Seattle, and in that regard our efforts remain undeterred.”
Hansen reiterated his original position when he began the project that it would take time and patience.
“The prospects for expansion (are) unclear, (and) the path for returning an NBA franchise to Seattle was likely to prove even more difficult and require even more patience,” he wrote. “Thus, even as we are disappointed with the developments related to our efforts to purchase the Kings, we would just like to reiterate our dedication to bringing the NBA back to Seattle.”
After thanking his staff and the political and business communities that supported his effort, he threw out a request to fans:
“Keep the Green and Gold alive… and just know that we remain as dedicated as ever to seeing Sonics Basketball return to the Emerald City.”