Report: Microsoft CEO Buying Sacramento Kings For $500 Million

LAS VEGAS – OCTOBER 13: Palms Casino Resort
President George Maloof watches a preseason
game between the Sacramento Kings and the Los
Angeles Lakers
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Microsoft CEO and billionaire Steve Ballmer and San
Francisco hedge fund manager Chris Hanson are
leading a group that will pay $500 million to buy
the NBA’s Sacramento Kings from the Maloof family
and move the team to Seattle, according to Yahoo!
The Maloofs have been trying to get taxpayers to
pay for a new arena in in Sacramento for years to
replace the antiquated Sleep Train Arena to no
avail. A year ago we valued the Kings at $300
million, 23rd out of the league’s 30 teams, based on
their current arena. As part of the move to Seattle,
the team will play in Key Arena for two seasons,
them move into a modern arena with more suites
and other amenities.
The Maloofs have also been struggling with their
casino business during the economic downturn, and
were recently trying to restructure debt on the
Palms Casino Resort. The Maloofs could still own a
small stake in the Kings after the deal, which has
yet to be finalized.
Hedge fund managers have been buying sports
properties with gusto recently. Joshua Harris lead a
group that purchased the 76ers of the NBA in 2011 .
Most Wall Streeters have generated very good
returns on their teams, generally beating the stock
market by a wide margin over comparable periods.
In Seattle, Ballmer would be joining another
Microsoft billionaire, Paul Allen, the software
maker’s co-founder, who owns the NFL’s Seahawks.
If the deal is completed and the Kings move to
Seattle, the Maloofs will have to pay the city of
Sacramento around $77 million to cover a loan
Sacramento made to the Kings in July 1997, two
years before the Maloofs bought the franchise.

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6 thoughts on “Report: Microsoft CEO Buying Sacramento Kings For $500 Million

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