Seattle investor Chris Hansen failed in his attempt to buy the Sacramento Kings and move the franchise to Seattle, but that didn't stop the millionaire from anonymously contributing $80,000 to a group hoping to put the Kings' new arena up to a public vote. It was revealed on Friday that Hansen was the man who made the contribution, setting off a firestorm of criticism over his motives and the donation.
Hansen just issued his apology for the situation, which he admits was a mistake. From the Sacramento Bee:
I made a mistake I regret.
When our binding agreement to purchase the Sacramento Kings became a competitive situation and we were faced with both the prospect of seeing our transaction fail and losing our $30 million deposit, I engaged Loeb & Loeb to canvas the various opposition groups to gain an understanding of their efforts and the prospects of their success.
During this time I was approached through Loeb by the opposition about making a contribution to the opposition's efforts as part of a broader group and agreed to make a donation.
While I'm sure everyone can appreciate how easy it is to get caught up the heat of battle, with the benefit of hindsight, this is clearly a decision I regret. I wish the city of Sacramento and Kings fans the best in their efforts and they have my commitment not to have any involvement in their arena efforts in the future."
Hansen also noted he did not have ongoing conversations with STOP -- Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork -- nor did he provide any other financial backing for the group.