The next three weeks, or so, are what Sonics fans have been waiting on for a long time. Let's get right to it.
Tomorrow, April 3rd, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson get to be part of the team sale and relocation struggle with the NBA select committees. Strangely enough, I like McGinn in that matchup, why? Mike McGinn is a lawyer and has been familiar with his material much longer. McGinn also has a stronger market to promote.
Stern said he will invite the mayors of the two cities and the two potential purchase groups to the April 3 meeting "if they have something to talk to us about." Sacramento Bee, Stern: Sacramento group's bid to buy Kings doesn't measure up, March 8, 2013
The league owners want this topic to be resolved (as much as possible) before the league owners meet two weeks later. So, this really is opportunity for both sides to make the big pitch for where the franchise will reside.
On April 12th, the City of Seattle will have its request to have a lawsuit opposing the arena plan, brought by Mark Baerwaldt, dismissed because the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) isn't yet complete. The MOU needs to be complete, and final agreement made, before a lawsuit can be filed.
The suit, filed in King County Superior Court, alleges the arrangement, which calls for $200 million in public money to be repaid through arena revenue, violates the terms of Initiative 91. The measure, overwhelmingly approved by Seattle voters in 2006, said the city must make a profit on any investment in a sports facility. Seattle Times, New suit seeks to halt Sodo arena, January 17, 2013
Spoiler alert! By the time the MOU completes at the end of the year it is very likely that the Seattle City Council will exempt the Sonics arena plan from I-91, and avoid the lawsuit altogether. There is a precedent for this, back in February, 2009, the Seattle City Council entered into a lease with the Seattle Storm. The Storm lease was exempted from I-91 by council vote.
On April 15th or 16th, Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer could close on their purchase of 7% of the Kings franchise if no limited partner is able or willing to match the $15.1 million dollar offer made on March 27th.
. . . The share would give Hansen, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, and the Nordstrom brothers 72 percent of the franchise, if NBA owners approve the acquisition.
The deal for the minority share has been locked up in a bankruptcy proceeding involving Kings minority Owner Bob Cook. His trustee has agreed to a "no shop" provision, which restricts the Trustee from further marketing the share. KING5.com Hansen group sharpens aim at NBA's Kings, March 27, 2013
On April 17th, the Sacramento Kings play their final game of the season, at home against the Clippers.
On April 18th and 19th, the NBA owners will meet and discuss everything to do with league business. There is a deep desire by everybody (admit it) that the vote on the purchase and relocation of the Kings is a forgone conclusion (either way) by the 19th.