Mayor Unveils ‘Competitive’ Bid for Kings
For more than a year, Southern California grocery tycoon Ron Burkle and his business associates have pursued a plan to build a new arena in Downtown Plaza to cement the Kings’ future in Sacramento.
On Thursday, that interest finally burst into the open. Standing on a stage at the Memorial Auditorium in front of 3,000 cheering Sacramentans gathered for his State of the City address, Mayor Kevin Johnson announced that Burkle and 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov were teaming up on a bid to buy the Kings and construct an arena at the site of downtown’s lagging open-air mall.
The bid for the team, which will be filed with the National Basketball Association today, will serve as Sacramento’s counteroffer should the NBA board of governors next month reject the Kings’ deal to move the franchise to Seattle.
While the amount of the Burkle and Mastrov bid was not revealed Thursday, the mayor said it would be “very strong and competitive.”