Report: NBA basketball returning to Seattle

Author: KOMO News
Published On: Jan 09 2013 12:26:03 PM PST   Updated On: Jan 09 2013 12:26:05 PM PST
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The Maloof brothers are finalizing an agreement to sell the Sacramento Kings to Chris Hansen and move the team to Seattle,Yahoo! Sports reporter Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

Wojnarowski reports the deal will be for about $500 million and the team would play two seasons at KeyArena before moving into the new Seattle arena.

The deal isn't signed yet, Wojnarowski reported, but said his source describes the deal as "1st and goal at the 1."

Wojnarowski also reports his sources say the Maloofs are expected to keep an extremely small percentage of team, "but will have no real input or say in franchise."

Joe, Gavin and George Maloof have been trying for years to get a new arena deal in Sacramento. In February, the brothers celebrated a tentative deal to fund the estimated $391 million arena that would open for the 2015-16 season in the downtown Sacramento rail yards.

But the Maloof's balked at the terms of the deal a month later and backed out.

In Seattle, hedge fund manager Chris Hansen is leading a group that wants to build the $490 million arena near the existing Mariners and Seahawks stadiums with $200 million in public financing.

The public investment would be paid back with rent money and admissions taxes from the arena, and if that money falls short, Hansen would be responsible for making up the rest.

Other investors include Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and two members of the Nordstrom department store clan.

In October, the group got final approval from King County and the city of Seattle to build the arena once a team is secured. The team has since released conceptual drawings and other details of the proposed arena.

The arena does face a lawsuit from the Longshore Union who claim Seattle and King County violated the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) by signing the memorandum of understanding.