HoopsHype Ron Burkle rumors

March 13, 2013 Updates

The city is expected to vote on an arena term sheet on March 26th, just eight days before the NBA’s financing and relocation committees convene in New York for a special meeting on April 3rd. Shirey indicated that the outline of the proposal to build a new ESC at the Downtown Plaza could be ready for council and public review as early as next Thursday, March 21st. “Everybody knows that we’re under a very tight timeframe to get all this work done,” Shirey said. “But we’re not going to short-change the agreement.” Cowbell Kingdom

The NBA has joined the discussions to build a new entertainment and sports center in Downtown Sacramento according to city manager John Shirey. The information came to light in this week’s Sacramento Kings’ update at yesterday evening’s city council meeting. “I want to let everybody know that we believe the talks are progressing well with the investor team (of Mark Mastrov and Ron Burkle),” Shirey told members of council. “I wanted to also let you know that we are also now discussing issues with the NBA. They are doing their own due diligence work, wanting to assure that our investor team and the city can deliver on a new arena downtown. So our discussions have broadened somewhat in the last few days.” Cowbell Kingdom

March 9, 2013 Updates
March 6, 2013 Updates

Sacramento officials today stepped up their public relations campaign to keep the Kings from leaving, saying the city is a better NBA market than Seattle. Mayor Kevin Johnson's Think Big Sacramento task force unveiled a barrage of statistics to bolster its argument that the city has been more supportive of the NBA than Seattle fans when the SuperSonics were in the league. The report comes four days after investors Mark Mastrov and Ron Burkle gave the NBA their bid to buy the Kings and keep the team in Sacramento. The bid is a counter-offer to the deal the Maloof family, owner of the Kings, made in January to sell controlling interest to investors from Seattle. Sacramento Bee

Think Big Sacramento, the regional initiative focusing on building a new downtown arena, released a report today detailing the strength of the capital region’s professional sports market. “Today’s report provides further proof that, pound for pound, Sacramento is one of the strongest and best performing markets in the NBA,” said Kunal Merchant, Executive Director of Think Big in a statement accompanying the “Home Court Advantage Report”. “Whether measured by fan support, corporate support, or media market reach, Sacramento has proven to be a model for what a one‐team NBA market can be, should be, and is.” Cowbell Kingdom

March 1, 2013 Updates

The proposed bid of 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov and billionaire Ron Burkle to purchase the Sacramento Kings and construct a downtown arena has a chance to challenge a Seattle ownership's group to move the franchise. Mastrov and the local investors' bid is "slightly lower," than the $341 million that the Chris Hansen-Steve Ballmer group has agreed to pay for the available 65 percent of the Kings, a high-level source involved in the talks told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday night. "They have a shot," the source said. "It's still a long shot, but the bid will be close enough to cause real debate." Yahoo! Sports

While the amount of the Burkle and Mastrov bid was not revealed Thursday, the mayor said it would be "very strong and competitive." Seattle hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer have a binding agreement with the Maloof family to buy the Kings in a deal that values the franchise at $525 million, or about $341 million for the 65 percent they control. A source familiar with the Mastrov offer said it's expected that the NBA will look over the proposal and forward it to the Maloofs, who have the right to "entertain" other offers as backups in case the NBA rejects the Seattle bid. Beyond that, the process isn't quite clear. "It's not like there's a manual for how to do this," the source said. "This is somewhat unprecedented in the history of the league." Tacoma News Tribune

February 9, 2013 Updates

As of Friday, that Sacramento group has not surfaced to state its intentions or offer a plan. However, sources close to the Sacramento effort said Southern California billionaire Ron Burkle and Bay Area entrepreneur Mark Mastrov are actively assembling an ownership group and formulating an arena plan. Burkle previously attempted to buy the Kings, but was rebuffed by the Maloof family, the current team majority partners. Meanwhile in Sacramento, fan groups are working to sell out Saturday's home game in hopes of sending a message to the NBA that Sacramento supports the Kings. Sacramento Bee

January 28, 2013 Updates
January 27, 2013 Updates

Source: Mastrov and Burkle are indeed committed to putting together a proposal for purchasing the Sacramento Kings and keeping them in Sacramento. The biggest hurdle will be convincing the current NBA owners to keep the Maloofs from following through with their existing agreement to sell and send the team to investors in Seattle. Still hard to imagine Hansen and Co. would invest not only in building a new arena but agree to a deal that includes a $30 million non-refundable payment if they weren't given some sort of guarantee above and beyond the Maloofs, but I guess we're going to find out. Sulia

January 26, 2013 Updates

Los Angeles-based billionaire and prospective owner of the Sacramento Kings Ron Burkle met with NBA Commissioner David Stern on Thursday in New York City, according to two people with knowledge of the situation. The meeting, according to one of the people with knowledge of the situation, lasted approximately two hours and took place inside the NBA's offices. The day before meeting with Stern, Burkle - according to one of the people - was in Sacramento. The people spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because it was a private meeting. USA Today Sports

While National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter plans to continue implementing some of the recommendations made last week by the Paul, Weiss firm in its scathing, 469-page report on union finances and governance, CBSSports.com has learned that another legal challenge may be brewing. The New York State Attorney General's office is aware of the report's findings and is examining whether action may be necessary regarding Hunter's oversight of the NBPA's charitable foundation, law enforcement sources said. The report found the union's foundation never held elections for board members or for an executive director and did not hold or keep records of regular meetings, in violation of its bylaws. Also, the report found the foundation often made charitable donations at Hunter's sole discretion, and in some cases, those donations went to charities with which he was personally involved. CBSSports.com

January 25, 2013 Updates

The people spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because it was a private meeting. While the Maloof family that currently owns the team has an agreement with the Seattle-based group led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to sell 65% of the team for approximately $341 million, the deal must still be approved by the NBA's Board of Governors. Burkle -- the supermarket mogul who is part owner of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins -- has been planning to make a competing bid with fellow money man Mark Mastrov, the Northern California-based founder of 24-Hour Fitness, in an attempt to convince the NBA to keep the team in Sacramento. The goal all along from the Sacramento side has been to force the NBA into a tough decision by putting together an arena plan and a bid that's competitive with the Hansen-Ballmer group. USA Today Sports

The Sacramento-Seattle saga has predictably continued with yet another unanticipated twist. A bankruptcy attorney overseeing 7 percent of Kings shares claims that minority owners are being denied their legal opportunity to match any sale purchase offer for the franchise. A hearing is scheduled for next Thursday in the bankruptcy case involving Kings minority partner Robert Cook. Meanwhile, Sacramento's best chance for a local savior to step forward appears to be a combination of two buyers: Supermarket magnate Ron Burkle and 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, Burkle and Mastrov have met to discuss teaming up. Mastrov also plans to be in Sacramento next week to meet with other potential local investors. CBSSports.com

January 24, 2013 Updates

Mayor Johnson has responded by saying he is talking with several wealthy business people to see if any are interested in making a counter offer that he can present to the NBA this spring in hopes of stopping the sale and move. Johnson has declined to name names. Several sources however said two major players already are in serious talks about a potential bid - Ron Burkle, a multi-billionaire grocer magnate in Southern California, and Mark Mastrov, founder of 24-Hour Fitness. Both have been described by the mayor's team as "whales," capable of meeting NBA standards for team owners. Sacramento Bee

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