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Report: Sacramento investors made big givebacks to keep NBA Kings

Sources say the investment group led by software tycoon Vivek Ranadive (l) agreed to give up tens of millions of dollars in revenue sharing to keep the Kings in Sacramento. (AP image)

A new report says the investment group vying to keep the Kings in Sacramento made millions of dollars in concessions to sweeten the pot for NBA owners.

Several reports published Monday say the group led by technology tycoon Vivek Ranadive agreed to first limit, then give up revenue sharing owed to the Kings by other teams.

The deal was first reported by the Sports Business Journal and confirmed by The Sacramento Bee.

Sources say the Sacramento group told the NBA it would accept fewer revenue-sharing dollars while the team was still playing at the aging Sleep Train Arena. Once the team moves into a proposed new arena, the Kings would take no money at all.

Under a new revenue-sharing deal agreed to last season, the richer franchises share more of their profits with poorer franchises, such as Sacramento. The team had the worst attendance in the NBA last season.

Sports Business Journal estimates the Kings would have been owed approximately $18 million under the new formula.

The agreement also includes sharing TV revenue, which is reported to be worth $30 million a year for the Kings.

If the Sacramento group is indeed willing to forgo nearly $50 million per year, the concessions could have been a key factor in last week’s 7-0 vote by the NBA’s relocation committee to recommend denying investor Chris Hansen’s bid to move the Kings to Seattle.

The NBA Board of Governors will reportedly meet May 15 in Dallas to cast the final vote on relocation and Hansen’s agreement to buy the Kings from the Maloof family.

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