NEW YORK - A Seattle investor group, led by Chris Hansen, presented to NBA owners Wednesday a plan to move the Sacramento Kings to Seattle and become the new Sonics.
Hansen was joined by Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine in New York City in hopes to convince the NBA to move the franchise.
The NBA owners heard sales pitches from the Seattle and Sacramento groups throughout the day behind closed doors.
The NBA’s relocation committee will decide if it’s a good idea for investor Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to uproot the Kings and bring them to Seattle.
The Seattle group’s plan to the NBA owners may have included Seattle having a bigger TV market, a wealthier ownership group and an established plan for a new arena.
On Tuesday, Hansen said fans have requested 44,000 season tickets if the team relocates, which the group may have pointed out.
“This is one of the biggest days of my life and seminal moment for our city,” said Hansen.
"Our presentation this morning went very well," he said Wednesday afternoon on his site, Sonics Arena. "We leave NYC with a feeling of great optimism. Being able to demonstrate the breadth and depth of support from all of you was a critical part of our presentation."
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson was expected to make an impassioned plea to keep the team in his city. Johnson has billionaire investors, a new plan to build a new arena and is ready to keep the franchise in his city.
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Gary Horcher spoke with McGinn about how he plans to bring the Kings to Seattle.
“My job is to let the NBA know the city of Seattle is committed to supporting an NBA basketball team. We’ve got a solid team arena plan, our city’s doing well and we’re prepared to make Key Arena an interim facility,” McGinn said.
McGinn also admitted the competition between Seattle and Sacramento will be intense.
The NBA’s relocation committee will give its recommendations to the Board of Governors, who will vote on April 18 and 19 on the whether the Kings stay or move.