by: Chris Francis Updated:SEATTLE —
Chris Hansen has raised the stakes in the fight for the Sacramento Kings, literally.
Friday night he announced via his Sonicsarena.com website that he had raised the offer price of his bid to buy the Kings by $25 million.
In the full statement, he explains why he and his group volunteered to do this.
“We would like to announce that we have reached an agreement with the Maloofs to raise the price we are offering to purchase the controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings NBA franchise by $25 million — from an enterprise value of $525 million to an enterprise value of $550 million.
While we already have a binding purchase agreement to purchase the controlling interest in the team, the Seattle Ownership Group has elected to voluntarily raise its purchase price as a sign of our commitment to bring basketball back to our City and our high degree of confidence in our Arena plan, our financing plan, the economic strength of the Seattle market, individual and corporate support for the team and, most importantly, the future of the NBA.”
The Hansen increase came just hours after reports out of Sacramento that their ownership group agreed to match Hansen’s original offer of value at $525 million.
The NBA owners are scheduled to vote next week on whether to accept Hansen’s purchase of the Kings. He would then move the team to Seattle, which is also subject to a vote by NBA owners.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson tweeted his response to Hansen’s increase Friday night, “…we of course are prepared to maintain the full court press we have applied over the last several months to make sure we leave it all on the court. We feel good about where we stand.”
He made no mention of another counter-offer.
King County Executive Dow Constantine commented on Hansen's announcement:
“Chris Hansen and his investment group have just reaffirmed that they are playing to win. This is a welcome development for our region and the fans.”