The Sacramento Bee’s Ryan Lillis reported Tuesday night that business magnate Ron Burkle and 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov are in talks to join Mayor Kevin Johnson’s ownership group to keep the Kings in town.
In an interview with FOX40 Tuesday night, Lillis called the talks with Burkle and Mastrov “very serious.”
Lillis also said the two would play a part in helping finance a new downtown sports and entertainment complex for the Kings.
“This is, potentially, a game changer for Sacramento,” Lillis told FOX40 Sports Director Jim Crandell. “At the very least, it certainly swings some of the momentum back in the way toward Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. The city’s effort here has kinda taken a punch in the last couple of days with the news that the Maloof family had reached that deal to potentially sell the team and move them to Seattle.”
Lillis did not reveal his source, but said they are very close to the negotiations.
Mastrov recently sold his gym chain for a reported $1.7 billion. He had also made an unsuccessful bid for the Golden State Warriors, offering about $350 million. He has also expressed interest in the Kings in the past.
Burkle, who owns the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team, has expressed interest in the Kings in the last two years.
Lillis told FOX40 that Mastrov and Burkle teaming up to put in a bid for the Kings is very likely, but whether the bid is accepted is up to the NBA Board of Governors.
You can read Lillis’ report on SacBee.com or in Wednesday morning’s edition of the paper.
Earlier in the day Tuesday, Mayor Johnson revealed a group of 20 investors that each agreed to put $1 million toward keeping the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento.