According to KTXL Fox Sports director Jim Crandell, Kings minority owner John Kehriotis plans to exercise a right of first refusal and is heading a group that is close to offering a competing bid to purchase the franchise and build a new sports and entertainment complex that does not require city/county subsidy. On his 10 p.m. Monday night broadcast, Crandell said Kehriotis, who owns 12 percent of the Kings, has secured a $350-million commitment from investors and a verbal agreement for another $400 million.
The information was attributed to an anonymous source.
Reached at his Bay Area home late Monday night, Kehriotis offered a succinct, "No comment at this time."
Grocery store tycoon Ron Burkle and 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov are thought to be the major investors involved in a separate deal to purchase the Kings and invest in a private/public arena partnership at one of two downtown locations. The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday will be asked to authorize funds to cover legal services toward that end.
Kings co-owners Joe and Gavin Maloof have agreed to sell their 65 percent interest to a Seattle group headed by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer. The potential new owners have filed documents to relocate the team to Seattle in time for the 2013-14 season. However, the NBA owners must approve all sales and franchise relocations, and Commissioner David Stern has said that Sacramento will be given an opportunity to produce a competitive offer.