Kings to Get Rival Bid, Stay in Sacramento, City’s Mayor Says

Mark Mastrov, the founder of 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide Inc., will submit a bid to the National Basketball Association today to buy the Kings and keep the franchise in Sacramento, the city’s Mayor Kevin Johnson said.

Ronald Burkle, managing party of Yucaipa Cos LLC, will lead an effort to develop a new entertainment and sports complex at the Downtown Plaza Mall in the California capital, Johnson said in his State of the City speech last night.

“We’re playing to win when it comes to keeping the Kings, creating jobs and transforming our downtown,” Johnson said.

A group headed by Valiant Capital Management founder Chris Hansen that includes Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer has filed to relocate the Kings to Seattle. Hansen’s group reached an agreement on Jan. 21 with the Maloof family, which has owned the Kings since 1999, that puts the team’s value at $525 million.

Approval from the NBA board of governors is required to complete any sale or relocation of a franchise. The board will meet April 18 in New York, where Johnson will make a presentation.

The Seattle group’s offer would be the highest sale price for an NBA team, surpassing the $450 million paid for the Golden State Warriors in 2010. Terms of the Mastrov group’s bid weren’t disclosed last night.

The sports complex in downtown Sacramento would anchor an economic development and revitalization effort, Johnson said. Burkle, co-owner of the National Hockey League’s Pittsburgh Penguins, aided in the development of Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center.

“We have an opportunity to transform downtown into a vibrant hub of economic and cultural activity that will create jobs and generate a positive economic impact for years to come,” Burkle said in a statement. “Sacramento has proven time and time again to be a great NBA market.”

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