The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

January 22, 2013

Maloofs agree to sell NBA's Kings to Seattle group

(Continued)

Hansen, a Seattle native and San Francisco-based investor, reached agreement with local governments in Seattle last October on plans to build a $490 million NBA/NHL arena near the city's other stadiums, CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field. No construction will begin until all environmental reviews are completed and a team has been secured. The arena also faces a pair of lawsuits, including one from a dock workers union because the arena is being built close to port and industrial operations.

Hansen's group is expected to pitch in $290 million in private investment toward the arena, along with helping to pay for transportation improvements in the area around the stadiums. The remaining $200 million in public financing would be paid back with rent money and admissions taxes from the arena, and if that money falls short, Hansen would be responsible for making up the rest.

Other investors in the proposed arena include Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and two members of the Nordstrom department store family.

"While there is more work ahead, this is a major step toward bringing the Sonics home," McGinn said.

Sacramento fans hope this is not the final chapter in their quest to save the Kings. Johnson has once already saved the Kings from relocation when he made a pitch to the Board of Governors and bought the city time to broker a deal that appeared to solve the team's arena woes. But the Maloofs backed out of that tentative $391 million deal for a new downtown venue with Sacramento last year.

Already, Johnson and other politicians have started wrangling for the Kings again.

California state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, a Sacramento Democrat, wrote a letter to state officials dated Tuesday — and released to several news outlets — asking them to detail how much money Ballmer's Microsoft company earns on state contracts.

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