|New Arena Drawing/Ctsy: City of Sacramento|
However, according to an Associated Press report--the decision does not obligate the Maloof brothers, who own the team to sell to Sacramento owners. But it does set some barriers for them to sell to an outside group to move the team out of town. It also essentially ends the bid of Chris Hansen who had made a $550 million offer for a majority stake in the team
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson spearheaded a last ditch effort to find a potential ownership group to buy the team and commit to a new arena in the city. That group is headed by software magnate Vivek Ranadave, a current minority owner of the Golden State Warriors, 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov, a former Facebook executive and the family that is the primary stakeholders in Qualcomm.
For their part, the Maloof's have not at this point issued a comment on the decision. As for Mr. Hansen and the Seattle bid, there is no early indication what their options are. At the time this story was written, he's yet to offer comment. The potential does exist for them to sue based on the fact that had an agreement in principal with the Maloof's, it just depends a bit on how binding that agreement is/was, the wording of it and if it's worth pursuing.
It remains to be seen if the financially taxed people in and around Sacramento are able to fully pull this off. But it appears the decision today has paved the way for them to keep their NBA team. To steal a silly cliche', the ball is in their court.
Here's how News 10 hit the decision...
And here's Seattle mayor Mike McGinn discussing his city's obvious reaction... ((HT: KING5 TV Seattle))