The Sacramento Bee, based on reports from Yahoo Sports, is reporting that the Sacramento Kings are close to finalizing a deal to move the NBA team to Seattle for the 2013-2014 season. The team's current owners, the Maloof family, would sell the team to San Francisco hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen for about $500 million, the Bee reports.
PubliCola has been covering the arena discussions since they started last year; here's a good place to start.
If confirmed, the deal would come on the same day as mayor Mike McGinn's announcement, coming later this afternoon, that he's running for reelection, and would be a serious coup for the embattled mayor.
The team would reportedly play at KeyArena for two years while the new, half-billion-dollar SoDo arena is built, and would move to the new arena after that.
No word on whether the team would be called the Sonics, although that is one stipulation included in the memorandum of understanding between the city and Hansen.
In a bizarre (giddy?) response to our request for comment on the fact that the Twitterverse was exploding over the rumors, McGinn spokesman Aaron Pickus said, "I have no comment on the explosion of the Twitterverse, nor the inevitable total equilibrium of energy according to the second law of thermodynamics."
Meanwhile, Hansen representative Rollin Fatland, pressed repeatedly for comment, said he had no information to offer us.