SACRAMENTO (CBS) – Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson made a surprise announcement at the NBA Board of Governors meeting in New York City Thursday identifying Pittsburgh Penguins owner Ron Burkle as an interested Sacramento NBA owner.
Johnson told reporters that Burkle would want to be a majority owner. Without getting into details, Johnson also indicated that a local minority ownership group had been assembled.
Following the meeting, Burkle Group Partner Darius Anderson made the following statement:
“The Maloofs have been strong owners and a positive part of the Sacramento community for years, but it is important that Kings fans and residents of the Sacramento region know that the Burkle Group is ready to commit the resources and expertise necessary to keep the NBA in Sacramento. Our group believes Sacramento is an important NBA market that can thrive with new ideas, new resources and an absolute commitment to delivering the best on and off-court experiences for fans.
“This group, led by Pittsburgh Penguins owner Ron Burkle, is prepared to assist the Mayor by bringing significant resources and the best possible expertise in professional sports, facilities development and financing to bear in the effort to keep Sacramento as an NBA city.
The Maloofs are using the Board of Governors Meeting to gauge the support of the other owners in the league; they would need 15 owners to vote in favor of moving to Anaheim. A relocation request has never been denied before.
Anaheim’s mayor was also in New York making his case for a Kings move down south.
“Orange County is it’s own market, that we’re different from Los Angeles,” said Mayor Tom Tait.
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