Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) - The sale of the Sacramento Kings to an investment group headed by Vivek Ranadive was completed Friday.
The Maloof family sold its controlling interest in the franchise and ownership of Sleep Train Arena for an NBA record $534 million. The transaction had been approved by the NBA's Board of Governors on Tuesday.
"We respect and would like to acknowledge the NBA Board of Governors' dedication and diligence in working through this process over the past several months," said George Maloof in a statement Friday. "On behalf of my family, I would like to thank commissioner David Stern and the NBA staff who worked tirelessly on this transaction. I also would like to praise mayor Kevin Johnson and the Sacramento City Council and staff for their efforts and loyalty to the Sacramento community."
The Maloof family had controlling ownership of the Kings since 1999 and had been trying to sell the club after repeated efforts for a new stadium deal continued to fall through.
There was a competing bid from a partnership that would have moved the club to Seattle, but NBA owners earlier this spring voted to keep the team in Sacramento after mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA player, worked tirelessly to keep the Kings in the city with a new stadium plan and Ranadive's proposal.
The Maloof family had agreed in January to sell a 65 percent share of the team to a group led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who would have moved the Kings to Seattle.
On March 27, the Sacramento City Council approved a public-private deal to build a new 18,500-seat arena and retail center downtown, leading to the purchase bid from Ranadive's group.
The league heard proposals from both groups in April and decided, by a 22-8 vote, to keep the team in Sacramento.
"We are pleased for both the Maloof family and the Ranadive group, but particularly pleased for the fans of the Kings," said NBA commissioner David Stern in a statement Friday.
Seattle has been without an NBA team since the SuperSonics left for Oklahoma City following the 2007-08 campaign. The Sonics were an expansion franchise in 1967-68.
The Kings, meanwhile, have been in numerous cities since their inception in 1948-49. They began as the Rochester Royals until 1956-57, then stopped in Cincinnati through 1971-72 before moving to the Midwest. They changed their name to the KC-Omaha Kings before becoming the Kansas City Kings in 1975-76, then moved to Sacramento for the start of the 1985-86 season.