NBA vote on Kings purchase officially set for May 15

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SEATTLE — The Seattle/Sacramento battle for the Kings will end in Dallas.

It was confirmed Monday that the NBA’s Board of Governors will meet in Dallas on May 15 for a final vote on the proposed sale of the Kings to a group from Seattle led by Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

The NBA’s Relocation Committee last week voted 7-0 to recommend the team not be allowed to relocate to Seattle, which seemed to indicate that the sale of the team would also not be approved.

A group from Sacramento is in line to make a backup bid if the Seattle offer is not approved, which would keep the Kings in California.

The SportsBusiness Journal revealed on Monday the great lengths to which the Sacramento group went to win the favor of the NBA.

The SBJ reported that the investors made a promise to limit the amount of revenue sharing it would accept. It was reported the group said it would take less money than it was due while the team is still playing at its current home of Sleep Train Arena, and would take none once it moved into a new downtown arena, which is expected to open in 2016.

The Kings are expected to take in about $18 million this year under the new revenue-sharing plan, which was a key part of the league’s collective-bargaining agreement made last year. The plan is designed to help franchises that don’t make as much money still be able to compete.

Seattle, as a larger market, had generally been considered a potential franchise that would have likely paid into the plan, if it were to get a team. Sacramento’s compromise surely helped win over NBA owners who might have been concerned about losing money by voting to keep the team in Sacramento.

It was also reported that the Sacramento group agreed to pay “a significant amount of any cost overruns” in the new arena.

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