Seattle’s battle for the Sacramento Kings is finally coming to a head now that both cities made their case to the NBA on Wednesday.
The Seattle coalition, led by Chris Hansen, has often been covered by the Seattle media, highlighting Hansen’s plan and optimism. From The Seattle Times’ article Thursday morning:
But the driver of the presentation was Hansen. He met the news media afterward for the first time since the sale was announced, and revealed little, saying the ‘ownership group is very enthusiastic, and we appreciate the NBA has got a tough decision to make, and we’re hopeful for an outcome in our favor.’
[King County Executive Dow] Constantine, though, said Hansen was much more dynamic in the meeting room, laying out every step of his quest to bring the NBA back to Seattle.
“The way he put the whole story together, chapter by chapter, it was very difficult to see how the counteroffer could live up to the financial viability, the certainty and the political support that the Seattle offer has.”
The Sacramento Bee, on the other hand, seemed hopeful but less confident overall about the deal turning in the city’s favor. Sacramento’s media focused on NBA commissioner David Stern, and the potential viability of Sacramento’s counteroffer. From the Bee’s coverage on Thursday:
“I feel like the owners are very clear on what Sacramento’s ownership group is willing to do to keep this group in Sacramento, that’s the first thing, playing to win,’ Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson said. ‘...They’re the ones who have a franchise and have to ultimately make a decision on accepting a backup offer or another offer if Seattle doesn’t pan out, and we were pleased to be able to share our story in front of them.”
The total development cost for the Sacramento arena is an estimated $447 million, with a variety of city resources paying for $258 million of the total.
One thing that both newspapers could agree on? This is not an easy decision, and Stern is not taking it lightly. The NBA’s decision is expected in the next couple of weeks, and until then both cities will hold their breath and wait to hear whose fans will be cheering in the 2014 season.