In an indication of how seriously he is considering buying the Kings, 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov was in Sacramento this morning meeting with the local business leaders who have committed $1 million each toward purchasing the team.
Mastrov, who reportedly made an unsuccessful bid of $350 million to buy the Golden State Warriors in 2010, is in serious discussions with billionaire Ron Burkle on teaming up on a bid to purchase the Kings and keep them in Sacramento. The pair has also discussed partnering on a plan to help build a new downtown sports arena, most likely at the site of the Downtown Plaza, sources have told The Bee.
Burkle met with Mayor Kevin Johnson last week and was in New York on Thursday, when he met with NBA Commissioner David Stern. During that meeting with Stern, Burkle expressed his interest in buying the Kings and advocated for building an arena at the Downtown Plaza site - not the downtown railyard, which had been the preferred site of city officials.
The mayor is expected this week to unveil deep-pocketed investors to anchor his pitch to keep the team here. That pitch will be made directly to the NBA as a counteroffer to the deal the Kings' owners have reached to sell to a group that plans to move the team to Seattle.
Johnson plans to combine those investors with more than 20 local partners committing $1 million each and an arena financing plan.