SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Mayor Kevin Johnson has a strong feeling the Maloofs will sell the Sacramento Kings to a Sacramento group, a day after the NBA rejected a bid to move the team to Seattle.
“The deal is done. It’s going to be close to being signed in the next day or two,” he said.
CBS13’s Steve Large caught up with George Maloof in the Phoenix airport Thursday. He appears ready to hand over the franchise the family has owned for nearly 15 years.
“We’d like to sell the team, and that is what we are going to do,” George Maloof said.
Lawyers for the Maloofs and the Sacramento group led by Vivek Ranadive have been talking. While there is no official deal in place, there is an outline.
Ranadive’s group has put $240 million into an escrow account—$200 million will go to the Maloofs and Bob Heinreich for 85 percent of the franchise, while the rest will go to running the team.
The deal will be even sweeter for the Maloofs as Ranadive will assume the debt the family has with the league, as well as the $64 million debt the team has with the city of Sacramento.
The potential new ownership group will receive help on paying down that loan with a 5 percent ticket surcharge on all events held at Sleep Train Arena. That is because if the Kings leave Natomas, the bond debt must be paid in full.
The annual return is estimated to be around $3.7 million. The ownership group would need to pay the rest. Once the new arena is built, the loan will be refinanced.
But before any of this happens, the Maloofs still need to sign off on a deal and then at least 23 of the league’s owners would need to approve the sale to the Ranadive group.