League to vet Sacramento Kings arena plan before April, according to report

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

In what is definitely good news for Sacramento, the NBA will reportedly vet the city's proposal to keep the Kings prior to Mayor Kevin Johnson's presentation to the Board of Governors in April.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson plans on making a last public pitch to the NBA owners in April to keep the Kings in the city. But according to The Sacramento Bee, the NBA's finance committee will actually vet the anticipated proposal from the bidding Sacramento ownership group prior to Johnson's April presentation.

Johnson, supermarket tycoon Ron Burkle and 24 Hour Fitness Founder Mark Mastrov have been working hard to round up investors for a bid to counter the $340 million deal the Maloof family has with Chris Hansen's Seattle group. While Seattle likely has the stronger position right now, this latest development is great news for Sacramento, as explained by Sactown Royalty's Tom Ziller:

Why is this good news? The committee will be considering Sacramento at the same time as it is considering Seattle. The process will be holistic, which is what I argued must happen last week. That gives Sacramento a much stronger chance than if the committees and Board of Governors pursued the options separately. Chris Hansen wanted this to be a by-the-book approval process. It does not appear that will be the case.

To keep the Kings from moving to Seattle, the Sacramento group must convince eight of the NBA's 30 owners to oppose the sale due to league rules requiring a three-fourths majority. The board will receive a recommendation from the finance committee once the vetting is complete and then vote yes or no on the sale. There will also be a recommendation from the relocation committee, who will compare arena plans and each city's strength as an NBA city.

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