Reporting Steve Large
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – While the Kings still don’t have a new arena to play in, the city of Seattle is moving closer to getting a new NBA arena and the man with the money to do it laid out his plans.
Could it be the Kings’ next move?
“The day that I buy a team, people know my intentions are to move it to here,” Chris Hansen said testifying to Seattle’s Finance Committee but never saying the Sacramento Kings by name.
“There’s franchise opportunities that will probably arise in the next couple of years,” said Hansen.
However, this rich Seattle native has already bought Seattle land. He’s in talks with the city to build an NBA arena and he wants a new Seattle Supersonics team to play in it.
The hedge fund manager says he’s got up to $800 million in private funds lined up for it all.
“This is strictly a personal investment. In fact I’m withdrawing money out of my fund, which has earned a very good return in the four years we’ve been in operation,” said Hansen.
Where Sacramento’s arena prospects have died, the Seattle arena deal is now gaining momentum.
The tale of two cities looks like this. Construction of Seattle’s proposed arena is about $100 million more but would require $50 million less in public funding.
The big difference is Hansen is heading Seattle’s effort. The Kings’ Maloof brothers killed the Sacramento deal.
Now Sacramento is exploring arena options without their own NBA owners.
“You can run yourself ragged trying to figure out what every other city is going to do. We know that they’re several years away. That has, thus far, not expressed an interest to sell a team to new owners,” said Jeremiah Jackson, Sacramento Arena Think BIG spokesman.
The Maloofs say they are not selling. But money talks and this man has a lot of it.
“My motivations will become clear,” said Hansen.