NBA Commissioner David Stern speaks to the media before Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday. (PHOTO: US PRESSWIRE)
NBA Commissioner David Stern says the group that has reached agreement to purchase the Sacramento Kings has formally filed to relocate the franchise to Seattle.
Stern spoke on Wednesday night in Minneapolis before the Timberwolves hosted San Antonio. He called the Seattle group, led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer, "very strong," and that the appropriate committees have been convened to look over the proposed sale of the Kings and the prospective move to Seattle.
The deadline for teams to file for relocation is March 1. It's been expected that the Hansen/Ballmer group would file to move the team to Seattle, but Stern's comments were the first time that decision has been verified.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson released the following statement in response to the Stern's announcement:
"As we've said from the start, Sacramento is playing to win. For 28 years, we've proven time and again to be a top NBA market. Our fans have set league records for consecutive sellouts. Our corporate community has stepped up in ways never seen before. We are a top 20 media market where the NBA enjoys 100% market share and no competition from pro football, baseball or soccer. We are the state capital of the eighth largest economy in the world, a place where more businesses work to promote a positive image than in any other city in the US outside of Washington, DC. And above all, we know that with an ownership partner committed both to Sacramento and an arena plan already supported by the City and NBA, Sacramento is ready to show what a great one-team market can be, should be, and is."
The Associated Press & VIDEO: KARE-TV