Calling it one of the great comebacks in sports, Mayor Kevin Johnson announced on Friday at City Hall that the sale of the Sacramento Kings to a local group of investors has been finalized.
The Maloof family is reportedly selling a 65% controlling interest in the team, which has been valued at more than $525 million, to a group led by software tycoon Vivek Ranadive. Earlier this year, the Maloofs had agreed to sell the team to a Seattle group, headed by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen, that wanted to relocate the franchise.
"It was a heck of a comeback," Johnson said to Kings fans at the rally in downtown Sacramento. “Seattle is a great city and we want them to get a team.
"For us, it was never a competition. It was about our community telling our story. It's about not letting someone take something that's not theirs.”
Hansen's group was on the threshold of winning the fight for the Kings until NBA owners rejected the proposal to move the team to Seattle in a vote earlier this week.
As part of the deal to keep the Kings in Sacramento, a $447-million arena will be built west of downtown near the Sacramento River. Kings fans had been among the most loyal in the NBA, with sellouts for 19 consecutive seasons.
Ranadive's ownership group includes the Jacobs family, which owns telecommunications giant Qualcomm, former Facebook executive Chris Kelly and Mark Mastrov, founder of 24 Hour Fitness.
Wire service and Internet reports contributed to this story.Copyright © 2015, CT Now