SACRAMENTO (CBS Sports 1140) – Friday morning, in a packed lobby at Sacramento City Hall, Mayor Kevin Johnson held a press conference to confirm the rumors that the Maloofs had finally sold the Kings to the local ownership group.
Johnson opened up the press conference chanting “we did it!”
“Our hats go off to Seattle,” he said. “It was never a competition between us and Seattle. It’s about how well we support what’s ours.”
He also asked for a round of applause for the Maloofs for what they have done for the community.
“They didn’t have to accept a back-up offer and they did,” he said.
The Kings sold for a record-setting $535 million, the most in NBA history. If the sale is approved by the league, the new ownership group could take over as early as two weeks and the end of the month at the latest.
Johnson said he could not comment on details of the agreement, but that Hansen would not be a part of it.
Mark Freidman, who spoke on behalf of the ownership group, announced that the new arena plans to open to October 2016, with construction taking 24 months.
Among other speakers were Senator Darrell Steinberg, Senator Ted Gaines, City Manager John Shirey, and Sacramento City Councilman Allen Warren.
Warren, chair of the ad hoc arena committee affirmed that Sacramento came a long way in keeping the Kings, but a lot of work remains.
“This is historic,” he said. “Yesterday and last night we jumped hurdles.”
In his closing statement, Mayor Kevin Johnson announced that this Tuesday starting at 9am, fans can purchase next year’s season tickets.
He made another announcement about a rally being held next week. Next Wednesday at Caesar Chavez Park downtown, starting at 4pm, there will be a rally in celebration of Sacramento keeping the Kings. There will be a special musical performance by Cake.
Johnson ended the press conference by stating, “let’s enjoy this weekend like nobody’s business.”