Sacramento Mayor Finds Buyer to Keep NBA’s Kings in City

March 1, 2013

The mayor of Sacramento revealed that the Sacramento Kings may not move to Seattle after all after 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov made a late bid for the NBA franchise.

Mayor Kevin Johnson also said during his State of the City address that billionaire supermarket mogul Ron Burkle has agreed to work with the city to build a downtown arena, the newspaper reported.

“With all due respect to Seattle, I do hope they get a team someday. But let me be perfectly clear: it is not going to be this team,” Johnson said. “Not our team. No way.”

A prominent Seattle investor has a plan to buy the Kings, move them to Seattle and rename them the SuperSonics, after the team the city lost to Oklahoma in 2008.

The Kings are Sacramento’s only major professional sports team, and Johnson, a former NBA star, has previously said he would make “every effort” to keep them from leaving town.

Burkle, who also expressed interested in buying the Kings two years ago, had met with NBA Commissioner David Stern at the league’s New York headquarters in January before deciding to back out of the bid. Mastrov was among the final bidders for the Golden State Warriors before Joe Lacob and Peter Guber bought the team for an NBA-record $450 million in 2010, and he’s hoping the second time going solo in Northern California is the charm.

Sacramento’s offer – which also includes bringing back the Sacramento Monarchs women’s basketball team – will be made to the National Basketball Association on Friday, the Bee reported.