This is the FULL TEXT from Stern's meeting with the media today in Minnesota.
The latest with the Seattle Sacramento situation is that we have had submitted a signed agreement for the team to be sold to a very strong group from Seattle. We have received an application to have the team moved from Sacramento to Seattle. I have convened the appropriate committees and told them that as we get more information or data we will be sending information to them because they will have to make a recommendation to the board which will likely decide the issue. The mayor of Sacramento has advised that he will be back to us soon with a proposal from a group to buy the team in Sacramento and build a building in Sacramento with a substantial subsidy from the city of Sacramento, and so we’re abiding events.
The Seattle application is to play in Key Arena, which would be there probably for two years, possibly three. There is no final approval with respect to a new building in Seattle, but events are well underway moving in that direction. So they don’t currently have a building but they proposed to improve the Key as a temporary facility while one is being built. My guess is that it is likely that the Mayor of Sacramento will appear before the board with an alternate plan. That’s why we have a board of governors to make decisions like this one.
(Question: How likely is it that, assuming Mayor Johnson gets the backers and investors, that they will keep the team or it becomes a bidding war?) No, I don’t think it’s a bidding war. There’s a series of issues, defined by our constitution, that have to be considered. One of the things our board is mandated to consider is the support for the team in the prior city. So there are real issues for the board to consider about buildings, about the likely they’ll be built, about the support in both cities… I think I might have helped compose the standards but sitting here today I can’t remember what they are, but there are a lot of them. Actually, to confuse it just a little bit, the application to transfer ownership requires a three quarter vote, and the application to move requires a majority vote. So I did the sensible thing, I combined the committees and said you guys figure it out, so we’ll see how that works.