Sacramento-Based Group Submits Official Bid to Buy NBA’s Kings

A group led by 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide Inc. founder Mark Mastrov submitted an official bid to buy the Sacramento Kings and keep them from moving to Seattle.

The submission to the National Basketball Association was confirmed in an e-mail by Tim Frank, a spokesman for the league.

Billionaire investor Ron Burkle, managing partner of Yucaipa Cos., will lead an effort to develop a new entertainment and sports complex at the Downtown Plaza Mall in the California capital, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said last night in his State of the City speech.

A group headed by Valiant Capital Management founder Chris Hansen that includes Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer reached an agreement on Jan. 21 to buy the Kings from the Maloof family and move the franchise to Seattle. That accord may value the team at an NBA-record $525 million.

The NBA’s Board of Governors must vote to complete any sale or relocation of a franchise. The group meets April 18 in New York, where Johnson will make a presentation. Terms of the Mastrov group bid weren’t disclosed.

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.”

A year ago Sacramento reached agreement with the Kings to build a new arena. The deal fell through less than two months later.

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