It looks as though Henry Samueli and Orange County will have to wait for another opportunity to land a professional basketball team.
The National Basketball Association’s Sacramento Kings struck a tentative deal on Feb. 27 with its keep the franchise there, rebuffing advances made by investor groups led by Samueli−the cofounder of Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp.−and other potential suitors.
“There is a framework for the deal,” NBA spokesperson Michael Bass said.
The news, announced by Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof, would seem to end a year of speculation about the team’s home.
The Maloofs−who run the annual Maloof Money Cup skateboarding contest in Orange County− will invest more than $70 million in a new arena in Sacramento and “probably another $75 million over the term of the agreement,” according to the Sacramento Bee.
Los Angeles-based stadium developer and operator Anschutz Entertainment Group, or AEG, also is expected to put money into the new stadium.
Landing a basketball team has been a goal of Anaheim and Samueli, who owns the National Hockey League's Anaheim Ducks but calls basketball his favorite sport.
Samueli, who also owns the company that runs the city-owned Honda Center, had offered to increase a personal loan to the Kings from $50 million to $75 million and offered to buy a part of the team if the Maloofs relocated the franchise to Orange County.
The NBA had set a March 1 deadline for the Kings and Sacramento officials to work out a deal to keep the team in state's capital city.