Sorry, Seattle. The Sacramento Kings are staying put.
According to the Associated Press, the NBA owners voted 22-8 to keep the Kings in California's capital. The league's relocation committee had previously unanimously recommended that the team not be allowed to flee to the Pacific Northwest.
The victory was a massive one for the city of Sacramento, its loyal fans, Mayor Kevin Johnson and the deep-pocketed investors who've stepped up to keep the Kings, but the fight is far from over.
The Maloofs, who own a 65 percent stake in the team, have a long history of shenanigans with regard to the franchise's future, as laid out by Pete Bosofin of the Sacramento Bee back in January.
In essence, the Maloofs have been trying to ditch Sacramento for over a decade now, and though they've been summarily stiffed by the NBA in their latest attempts, that doesn't necessarily mean they'll willingly sell their share to local interests.
That being said, the good folks of Sacramento deserve a moment of jubilation for their extraordinary efforts to keep the Kings from winding up in the hands of Chris Hansen, Steve Ballmer and the rest of the group that had its sights set on the rebirth of the Seattle SuperSonics.
The ride to this point has been a long and crazy one for the Kings.
To get you caught up, let's have a look back at what's transpired since this saga became a showdown between Sacramento and Seattle this past January.
January 9th, 2013
The Maloofs are finalizing an agreement to sell the Sacramento Kings to the Hansen-Ballmer led Seattle group, sources tell Yahoo! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 9, 2013
The deal will sell the Kings for approximately $500 million, with the Seattle group seeking relocation to Key Arena for the 2013-'14 season.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 9, 2013
Steve Large of CBS 13 in Sacramento later tweets that the Maloofs have rejected that offer.
Source: Seattle groups offer was rejected by Maloofs. Hmmm. Plot thickening by the minute.— stevelarge_cbs13 (@largesteven) January 9, 2013
Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson offers his immediate thoughts on the situation.
Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee goes on to characterize the discussions between the Kings and the Seattle group as "conceptual" (via Aaron Bruski of Pro Basketball Talk):
January 11th, 2013
The Sacramento Bee reports that Mark Mastrov, the founder of 24 Hour Fitness, and Dale Carlsen, the man behind Sleep Train Mattress Centers (i.e. the company that currently owns the naming rights to the Kings arena), are both interested in buying the team and keeping it in Sacramento.
January 15th, 2013
Kevin Johnson tells the attendant media at the State of Downtown Breakfast that Sacramento will have an opportunity to make its case in front of David Stern and the NBA's Board of Governors (via James Ham of Cowbell Kingdom):
Kevin Johnson says that Stern will allow Sacramento to present at the Board of Governors meeting.— James Ham (@James_Ham) January 15, 2013
January 21st, 2013
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Hansen-Ballmer group comes to an agreement to purchase the Maloofs' share of the Kings at a valuation of $525 million. That would place the Maloofs' take at approximately $341 million for 65 percent of the franchise—53 percent from the Maloofs, 12 percent from minority owner Bob Hernreich.
The NBA clarifies that the sale is subject to approval from the league's Board of Governors.
January 24th, 2013
According to Bob Moffitt of Capital Public Radio, Kevin Johnson begins his efforts to keep the Kings in Sacramento in earnest. He speaks with David Stern over the phone and later meets with a number of local politicians and interested investors to discuss the plan. Johnson tweets enthusiastically about his city's chances of winning this battle:
Later that day, Bob Cook, whose seven-percent stake in the Kings is up for sale amidst bankruptcy proceedings, tells the Sacramento Bee that he's helping broker a meeting between Johnson and Oracle founder Larry Ellison in an effort to keep the team in Sacramento.
That day also sees supermarket mogul Ron Burkle meet with Stern about partaking in the burgeoning bid to reestablish the Kings' tenuous roots in Sacramento, per Sam Amick of USA Today.
February 5th, 2013
Aaron Bruski of Pro Basketball Talk reports that the Seattle group's bid to buy the Kings could be hamstrung by preexisting stipulations in the franchise's ownership documents pertaining to the rights of the team's minority owners.
February 6th, 2013
David Stern announces (via King5 in Seattle) that the Hansen-Ballmer group has officially filed to move the Kings to Seattle.
“As we’ve said from the start, Sacramento is playing to win. For 28 years, we’ve proven time and again to be a top NBA market." -cont...— Kevin Johnson (@KJ_MayorJohnson) February 7, 2013
"Our fans have set league records for consecutive sellouts. Our corporate community has stepped up in ways never seen before." -cont...— Kevin Johnson (@KJ_MayorJohnson) February 7, 2013
"We are a top 20 media market where the NBA enjoys 100% market share and no competition from pro football, baseball or soccer." -cont...— Kevin Johnson (@KJ_MayorJohnson) February 7, 2013
"We are the state capital of the eighth largest economy in the world, a place where more businesses work to promote a positive image"-cont..— Kevin Johnson (@KJ_MayorJohnson) February 7, 2013
"than in any other city in the US outside of Washington, DC.And above all, we know that with an ownership partner committed both" -cont...— Kevin Johnson (@KJ_MayorJohnson) February 7, 2013
"to Sacramento and an arena plan already supported by the City and NBA, " -cont...— Kevin Johnson (@KJ_MayorJohnson) February 7, 2013
"Sacramento is ready to show what a great one-team market can be, should be, and is.”— Kevin Johnson (@KJ_MayorJohnson) February 7, 2013
February 9th, 2013
February 11th, 2013
Alex Ben Block of the Hollywood Reporter reveals that Ron Burkle is in cahoots with Relativity Media to launch Relativity Sports, an agency that intends to represent athletes, coaches and broadcasters. By rule, Burkle's involvement in the venture could jeopardize his ability to serve as a financial partner in any purchase of an NBA franchise, including the Kings.
February 14th, 2013
David Stern addresses the emerging situation between Seattle and Sacramento during NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston.
February 22nd, 2013
Aaron Bruski reports that Sacramento's relative lack of legal impediments in comparison to Seattle could give the home city the upper hand in the battle.
February 26th, 2013
According to Steve Large of CBS 13 in Sacramento, the city council agrees to negotiate with a group of as yet unnamed investors by a vote of 7-2:
Council passes Formal negotiations with unnamed arena investors 7-2— stevelarge_cbs13 (@largesteven) February 27, 2013
February 28th, 2013
At his State of the City address, Kevin Johnson reveals that Mark Mastrov and Ron Burkle are among those "unnamed investors" who will work to keep the Kings in Sacramento and help to build an arena at the Downtown Plaza site.
March 8th, 2013
Prior to a game between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets in Oakland, David Stern tells the media that there's "substantial variance" between the offers put forth by groups from Seattle and Sacramento, and that the latter bid must improve if the Kings are to stay put (per the Associated Press).
March 21st, 2013
Vivek Ranadive, the founder and CEO of TIBCO and a minority stakeholder in the Warriors, comes forward as the leader of Sacramento's investment group.
Excited to be a part of the revitalization of a great community and the globalization of an amazing franchise. #HereWeStay— Vivek Ranadivé (@Vivek) March 21, 2013
That same day, Steve Large snaps a photo of a conceptual rendering of Sacramento's new arena while at city hall.
This is a new conceptual arena rendering on display at city hall now. twitter.com/largesteven/st…— stevelarge_cbs13 (@largesteven) March 22, 2013
March 24th, 2013
March 25th, 2013
Kevin Johnson announces via Twitter that Paul Jacobs, CEO of Qualcomm, has joined the group of moguls that intends to keep the Kings in Sacramento.
I'm thrilled to welcome Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs to Sacramento! Another visionary who believes strongly in this market. #playingtowin— Kevin Johnson (@KJ_MayorJohnson) March 26, 2013
March 26th, 2013
According to Bruski, the Sacramento city council votes in favor of the Kings' arena term sheet by a 7-2 margin.
Sacramento City Council votes 7-2 to approve the Kings arena term sheet. On to April 3, where I'm told Sac is the favorite.— Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) March 27, 2013
April 2nd, 2013
David Lucchetti, a minority owner of the Kings, matches Chris Hansen's offer to purchase Bob Cook's seven-percent stake in the team (via Kevin Johnson).
Big News! Kings limited partner files intent to match offer on 7% with trustee. It's staying in Sacramento! #PlayingToWin— Kevin Johnson (@KJ_MayorJohnson) April 3, 2013
April 3rd, 2013
The prospective ownership groups from Seattle and Sacramento present their cases to the NBA in New York City. According to Bruski, Sacramento's proposed arena subsidy is nearly double that of Seattle.
SEA has offered $120-$145M NBA subsidy, and SAC has offered $258M.If every city had an I-91, what happens to that $3B chunk? #weighty— Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) April 3, 2013
April 8th, 2013
KJ on Burkle news: "It doesn't change one thing. We addressed this with the NBA (on 4/3). They were very comfortable with what they heard."— Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) April 8, 2013
NBA has known about the Burkle/Relativity issue for a very long time. Pursue the angle that this changes things at your own peril.— Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) April 8, 2013
Sources say the Burkle contribution to the team/arena was relatively small vs. the outside development of 1.5M sq ft., etc— Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) April 9, 2013
April 9th, 2013
Mark Friedman will be stepping up in effort. He played a part Johnson's mayoral campaign. Developing West Sac waterfront/ J&16th building— Rob McAllister (@Rob_McAllister) April 9, 2013
"As much as I like basketball, I love Sacramento," says newly announced arena investor Mark Friedman. cbsloc.al/L9bOuW— CBS Sacramento (@CBSSacramento) April 9, 2013
April 12th, 2013
According to the Associated Press, the Seattle group ups its valuation of the Kings from $525 million to $550. In essence, this means that the Hansen-Ballmer consortium will pay the Maloofs an additional $16 million for their controlling stake in the team, putting the price tag at $357 million total.
That same day, Chris Kelly, a former executive at Facebook, announces that he's joined the Sacramento team and effort.
I am very excited to be a part of this once in a lifetime opportunity.Buying the Kings is much bigger and more... fb.me/xwZ3tHAD— Chris Kelly (@thatchriskelly) April 12, 2013
April 16th, 2013
The Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau releases a 30-second spot in support of the city's bid to keep the Kings that's to be played every five minutes in New York City's Times Square—during the NBA's Board of Governors meetings, no less.
April 24th, 2013
AECOM, the architectural firm in charge of designing the new Sacramento arena, unveils a series of concept drawings.
April 29th, 2013
Adrian Wojnarwoski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the NBA's relocation committee votes against the Kings' relocation efforts.
The NBA committees have voted no to relocation of Kings to Seattle, sources tell Y! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) April 29, 2013
The vote is non-binding, though it stands as a strong recommendation to the Board of Governors to decline the Seattle group's request to move the Kings.
May 6th, 2013
According to the Sacramento Bee, the Sacramento group offers to forfeit its slice of the league's revenue-sharing pie in an attempt to improve its case among the league owners. That forfeiture could cost the Kings approximately $15 million per year in funds normally allocated to franchises in small and mid-sized markets like Sacramento's.
May 10th, 2013
In yet another attempt to swing the proceedings in favor of Seattle, Chris Hansen announces that his group has once again raised its valuation of the Kings, this time up to $625 million. The shift pushes the price of the Hansen-Ballmer bid for the Maloofs' stake up to $409 million.
May 12th, 2013
Per Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, the Maloofs threaten to retain ownership of the Kings if the team's relocation to Seattle isn't approved by the league's Board of Governors.
In addition, the Maloofs reportedly cobble together a "backup" agreement whereby they would sell 20 percent of the team to the Hansen-Ballmer group for $125 million in order to allow the incumbent owners to continue operating the organization.
Furthermore, Windhorst's sources indicate that the Seattle group has offered an unheard-of relocation fee of $115 million to entice the NBA's owners to side with them.
May 15th, 2013
The Seattle and Sacramento groups make their final presentations at the NBA's Board of Governors meetings in Dallas. The owners vote 22-8 against relocation, thereby keeping the Kings in Sacramento.
For now, at least.