NEW YORK (CBS/AP) – Representatives from Sacramento and Seattle are making their presentations before NBA owners, hoping to show their city is the best home for the Kings franchise.
A Seattle group headed by investor Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has a pending agreement with the Maloof family to buy 65 percent of the team and move it back to the city the SuperSonics left in 2008. Sacramento has put together its own group to make a competing bid.
Mayor Johnson and Senator Steinberg arrive at St. Regis Hotel
The sides are meeting Wednesday with members of the Advisory Finance and Relocation committees, comprised of 12 owners.
A group of Sacramento fans wearing Kings jerseys gathered in front of a hotel to greet their side’s contingent, led by Mayor Kevin Johnson.
“This is an important moment for the history of Sacramento. You know our message has been clear all along, we’re playing to win,” said Mayor Johnson. “We think have an ownership group we think is qualified. We have a clear path to a new arena, and certainly the strength of our market and the historic support of our fans is something we think is going to give us a competitive advantage.”
“We will put our best foot forward. And it’s Seattle that’s asking for a mulligan, not Sacramento,” said Vivek Ranadivé, a downtown arena investor.
Ranadive and Mastrov arrive at St. Regis Hotel
— Vivek Ranadivé (@Vivek) April 3, 2013
The mayor’s spokesman, Ben Sosenko, tweeted this photo of Mayor Johnson preparing for the presentation.
— Ben Sosenko (@BenSosenko) April 3, 2013
After the presentation, NBA Commissioner David Stern said the league may need more time than the deadline in two weeks to decide which city will get the Kings. A vote was expected during the owners meeting on April 18-19.
It’s not what many wanted to hear but Stern says the owners still have a lot of questions and are seeking more information from each of the investor groups. He says a vote may not happen until after April 19.
While the presentations were made in New York City there was plenty of buzz at Wednesday’s Kings game about how the Sacramento group did.
Confidence was high inside Sleep Train Arena, certain that in the end the Kings will stay in Sacramento.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.