In the latest chapter of a complicated saga to secure an NBA franchise, the Sacramento Bee reports today that a group is proposing to buy the Sacramento Kings and build a $400 million arena on the site of the Downtown Plaza Shopping Center in Sacramento.
The group includes JMA Ventures, a San Francisco investment firm that purchased the financially strapped Downtown Plaza Shopping Center in Sacramento last year.
Last Wednesday, multiple reports surfaced that indicated the the Maloof family, owners of the Sacramento Kings since the late 1990’s, were negotiating a deal to sell the Kings to a Seattle group that includes San Francisco hedge fund manager Christopher Hansen, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, and two members of the Nordstrom family for $500 million dollars.
Yahoo!Sports first reported the discussions between the Kings and Hansen.
More reports emerged on Friday that the Maloofs desired to keep a small percentage of a stake of the team and also retain an active role in the management of the franchise, a tactic that is widely perceived as a heavy-handed way of negotiating a business deal.
On Friday reports emerged that Mark Mastrov, founder of 24 Hr. Fitness who previously lost his bid to purchase the Golden State Warriors franchise, was interested in buying the Sacramento Kings.
Another potential investor named Dale Carlsen, founder of Sleep Train Mattress Centers, was named as showing interest in buying the Kings.
Both of those two investors names emerged after Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson vowed before reporters to continue pursuing local investors to buy the Kings from the Maloofs.