NEW YORK, May 28 (UPI) —
The NBA Board of Governors Tuesday approved the sale of the Sacramento Kings to an investment group headed by software entrepreneur Vivek Ranadive.
The league announced the sale to a group spearheaded by Ranadive and 24 Hour Fitness chain founder Mark Mastrov had been unanimously approved by the NBA’s 29 other owners.
Ranadive’s group offered a reported $347 million to the Maloof family for the struggling franchise to keep it in Sacramento in a new 18,500-seat downtown arena and retail center, which was approved by the City Council in March.
The Maloofs in January had reached a deal to sell a controlling interest to hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, who would have moved the Kings to Seattle.
League owners this month rejected the proposed move in a 22-8 vote.
The Maloofs gained majority control of the Kings in 1999, and in recent years had alienated fans after they rejected several tries by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson to work out a new arena deal.
The team, which began as the Rochester Royals in 1948-49, moved to Sacramento from Kansas City before the 1985-86 season.