SEATTLE – Two separate sources confirmed Wednesday that Chris Hansen’s group put down a $30 million nonrefundable down payment to buy the NBA’s Kings franchise.
It was the first time anyone had confirmed the transaction, which was due Feb. 1, had actually happened.
Hansen’s group has a purchase agreement with the Maloof Family for a 65 percent controlling interest of the franchise. The Maloofs, on behalf of Hansen, filed for relocation to Seattle earlier this month. NBA owners have been reviewing the financial details, and should vote on whether to approve the purchase on April 19. A source says the down payment establishes a business relationship between the two sides, and may allow for a legal challenge if the NBA does not approve the deal.
But Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is not done fighting for the franchise. He will give his "State of the City" address on Thursday night in Sacramento, and many observers believe he will reveal more details of his counter bid for the Kings.
Johnson has said repeatedly he intended to release details of his plan, and investors, before March 1. NBA Commissioner David Stern has also indicated he was expecting to hear from Johnson before that date.
The Sacramento City Council gave authority to the City Manager on Tuesday to begin negotiating details for a new arena.
Seattle has already reserved dates at KeyArena beginning in November, to house an NBA franchise.