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Letter: Maloofs favor Seattle’s deal for Kings
Johnson has announced new investors to join the bid over the last few weeks but has not said publicly what each person’s financial contribution would be. Billionaire investor Ron Burkle, a co-owner of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins and once a key cog in Sacramento’s group, was forced to back out of the bid two weeks ago because of a conflict of interest created by his stake in a company that manages some NBA players’ careers.
Johnson was in New York on Friday but it was unclear whether he would address owners again. The mayor said at halftime of Sacramento’s season finale against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night the he was “very confident” in his city’s bid.
“I think the advantage has to go to the home team,” Johnson said before the Kings lost 112-108 to the Clippers during an emotional season finale. “We’re an incumbent.”
The Maloofs also had other concerns with Sacramento’s offer.
The family said the Sacramento group refused requests to make sure Kings employees’ contracts were not terminated for 18 months after closing the deal. The Maloofs said Hansen’s group agreed to this suggestion “without hesitation,” according to the letter.
The Maloofs said important financial information on the Sacramento investors has not been disclosed, and also said Sacramento is “significantly behind in its efforts to develop an arena.”
Hansen and the city of Seattle and King County reached agreement last fall for funding on a new $490 million arena. He also plans upgrades at KeyArena, where the team would play for two or three years until a new home is constructed.
Construction on the building could start as early as the end of 2013 _ but only if a team is secured. The purchase offer based on a $550 million franchise valuation _ which implies selling the 65 percent stake for about $357 million _ would be $100 million more than Joe Lacob and Peter Guber paid for the Warriors in 2010.
Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP
By Bob Dole
The industrious island has proved itself worthy of U.S. inclusion
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