Hansen bids for 7% of Kings in bankruptcy court, as NBA meeting nears

Things have been weirdly quiet on the Sacramento Kings front since Tuesday’s council vote, with the only big news being that would-be Seattle owner Chris Hansen has placed the winning bid for the 7% share of the team that was tied up in bankruptcy court. Hansen will pay $15.1 million for Bob Cook’s shares in the Kings, which seems like a huge bargain given that this would project a total valuation for the team of only $215 million.

Hansen may pay that much for the shares, I should say, because there’s a long way to go before this gets finalized: Other Kings minority owners still have time to match Hanson’s bid, and the NBA can still reject the sale outright. So this it mostly a PR move to try to get Hanson some Seattlecentric headlines, as well as an attempt to grab a bit more control of the team on the cheap for if and when the NBA okays a move to Seattle.

Any real news, then, is going to have to wait till next Wednesday, when NBA owners meet to hear the arguments by both Hansen’s group and representatives of the prospective Sacramento buyers for why the relocation of the team to Seattle should or shouldn’t be approved. Though given the last time we went through all this, we’re probably going to have to wait another week or so until people start leaking what happened inside the meetings before we get much sense of the Kings’ likely fate.


66 comments on “Hansen bids for 7% of Kings in bankruptcy court, as NBA meeting nears

  1. I am not sure how many of you are familiar with Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) but reading his timeline, it seems that the ROFR for current limited partners actually runs out today. Or am I just misreading this? I have typed their conversation below because I don’t know how to enter a screenshot of his timeline.

    John Sor ‏@jsor21 13h
    @McCannSportsLaw can lawyer file a supplement to the Motion and seek final approval of the Purchase Agreement b4 … http://tmi.me/QgeTV

    Michael McCann ‏@McCannSportsLaw 12h
    @jsor21 The Kings contract I saw said the ROFR period has to expire before the sale can be executed.

    John Sor ‏@jsor21 12h
    @McCannSportsLaw http://goo.gl/Zz1Lh pg3 line 18 would u take that as ROFR expires March 29?

    Michael McCann ‏@McCannSportsLaw 12h
    @jsor21 I read it a few times and I think you’re right- the ROFR for the 7% seems to expire on March 29 (or at least the trustee thinks so).

    John Sor ‏@jsor21 12h
    @McCannSportsLaw thank you for looking at it!

    Michael McCann ‏@McCannSportsLaw 11h
    @jsor21 Good find by you; you saw something in that document that no else, as far as I can tell, has done.

  2. The way I read the document it sounds like he’s filed the 4 page status report for some hearing they were doing on the 27th. He promised to submit a motion with Hansen’s contract to purchase on or before the 29th, and says with no other pre-approved buyers that he would like to call this sale (and his job) done or have the ROFO be exercised by a current non-selling partner. I’d read it more as a challenge “hey, if anybody is going to use a ROFO, step up now so I can get this over” but it’s not a court imposed deadline of the 29th, just the trustee’s desired schedule to close this.

    But this is the trustee petitioning actions and further court dates, hence he asks for the Final Sale hearing on April 15 or 16 “with any opposition to the Final Sale Motion to be filed and served on or before April 10, 2013.”

  3. One of many questions I have is when did the ROFR period start and end for the 65%? It makes sense that it would have started when Hansen made the down payment on Feb 1.

    Also, in order to bid by Aoril 1, you had to prequalify 3 or more weeks in advance. It might be a little late to prequalify now.

    What good does that 7% do existing owners anyway? You either have ROFR or you don’t. You can’t buy more ROFR. Sounds like a waste of $15m to me.

  4. The issue is that if indeed Hansen is awarded the 7%, then it would be strange for the NBA to reject Hansen for the 65% but approve him for the 7%. Furthermore, if Hansen is approved for the 7% by NBA, Hansen of course become a minority owner and has his own ROFR. If NBA later “forces” Maloofs to sell to Vivek’s gang, then Hansen can use this ROFR to block/match any sale.

  5. Lol, small world of economist/journalists I guess. Seattle-ites might be amused by this. In fairness, though, everyone is wrong some of the time.

    In Neil’s post today about LA’s convention center push, he linked to a 2005 post about convention center economics. Front and center a Jon Talton gets quoted:
    “there’s Arizona Republic columnist Jon Talton, who looked at Sanders’ figures of a plummeting convention market and drew this conclusion: “This is an arms race that Phoenix must win. If only 10 cities nationally will eventually compete for trade shows, Phoenix should be among them. If anything, the Civic Plaza expansion is years late.”

    I tracked down Sanders for a quick chat yesterday, in which he laughed about the Arizona Republic story (noting of Arizona that “in stadium terms, they’re the biggest Kool-Aid swallowers”), and elaborated on some of the points raised by his report”

    One of the big supporters of the Sonics arena in Seattle is… Jon Talton
    June 18, 2012 at 10:30 AM The arena, economics and not shooting ourselves in the foot Posted by Jon Talton

    http://www.sonicsarena.com/news/seattle-times-columnist-jon-talton-on-kuow
    “If we pass this up, we’re even stupider than we were on Seattle Commons and on the 1969 rail system that we could have had but instead went to Atlanta and was wasted. Let us shoot ourselves in the foot, reload, and shoot again. You will not get a better deal than this..” — Seattle Times economics columnist Jon Talton, June 27

  6. It is interesting that Hansen chose to bid “just” $15m for the 7% held in bankruptcy. It is also curious, given that all his previous commitments have shown he was willing to essentially blow everyone else out of the water.

    He certainly knew that the present ownership group had the right to match his offer for the shares under auction… so why low ball?

    The strategy of acquiring these shares to become a member of the existing group of owners is sound enough… but it makes no sense to offer an amount that is half of the present (at least as suggested by his bid for the Maloof’s share) pro rated value of the club.

    Either you want in or you don’t. So I’m a bit confused why he has set the stalking horse so low here. If he wants to gain control of 7% of the franchise, then if anything he should have valued that 7% higher than he did the offer for the majority of the shares the Maloofs (and their faithful ally) are selling… that would have ensured that the other partners have to swallow hard before they match.

    Put it this way, if I were a member of the existing ownership group considering a bid for the shares in BK, what possible reason could I have for not borrowing $15m to buy these shares (no matter what the terms are), knowing that Hansen has already offered twice that amount for the Maloof’s shares?

    Even if Hansen’s bid for the majority of the shares ultimately fails, 7% of the club has to be worth more than $15m on the open market… even with the clown like presence of the Maloofs running things.

    Interested to see how this plays out… but unless Hansen is just trying to tie up the capital of the existing ownership group (even if he is… why not tie up more of it and bid $35m), why put in a stink bid?

  7. deja vu all over again

    Term Sheet is very very private and can’t be divulged…like hell it can’t says a Federal Judge….in a FEDERAL Court Order

    Grand Jury lashes out at City and Dangberg for secrecy and chicanery for Kings secret deals

    Magoofs stand up in Public and state that the citizens should know that they are paying little (if any) money for the new arena before they vote on sales taxes…they also state in public that basketball teams make very little money, if any, and can be big money losers…and the Magoofs need parking revenue and hopefully restaurant and bar money from around the arena to break and even and make money to put back into the Kings

    THE PEOPLE tell the City government, Dangberg, Magoofs, The Kings to take a long walk off a short pier…by close to 80%…in the election…

    and now the Magoofs are the villains because the freeloaders in Sacramento can’t live off the government dole to support a NBA franchise…

    The Magoofs are not actually broke, unless you call folks with 1/2 a billion to 1.5 billion bucks broke…

    The Palms was financed by their previous casino rehabilitation and anyone who has a sum exceeding 300 million in Wells Fargo is not exactly POOR…

    So what we have here are a bunch of losers and developers on the government dole sticking it to the Sacramento public…

    Any bunch of suckers who fall for this development scam…DESERVE ALL THEY GET….

  8. The $15m amount is not hard to explain. That was the qualifying bid. Hansen was surely willing to go higher, but since no one else bid, he didn’t need to. Now, if one of the other partners match, will Hansen have a chance to raise his bid? I think he will.

  9. Mike:

    Why do you believe Hansen will have a chance to bid again?
    ROFR clauses generally don’t create public auctions… if one of the partners exercises his or her option, they need only match the highest and best offer to win.

    I suppose it is possible that the BK court will open the process to new offers again if it feels that no-one has offered reasonable value for the shares under auction. However, we shouldn’t forget that the court’s duty is to the creditors of the bankrupt entity… and prolonging a bk auction keeps those creditors waiting for their money (or portion of their money…)

  10. ^^ Neil: LOL. ^^
    Doesn’t everything operate on the reality tv principle these days???

  11. Kind of like ebay, except that Sony has to approve people to bid on the Sony Wii you want to sell and Sony has to approve the final sale of said Wii. Because that’s how franchises roll.

  12. When wasn’t it??? Seriously… if somebody filmed an eBay auction and cut in live interview footage of someone who can’t speak, would it be any worse than much of what is on tv?

  13. I’m still laughing at Ric Bucher’s suggestion that KJ’s group should give a $30 M non-refundable payment to the Maloofs to match that binding sales agreement. I’m sure the Maloofs would love to get two non-refundable deposits but I think you might have some issues making equal promises with only one team… unless you go all King Solomon on them.

    http://sulia.com/channel/la-sports/f/fded0773-6227-46a0-8aa0-5c6f4a1907b3/?source=twitter

  14. No. There was a bankruptcy auction scheduled for April 18 or 19. One bidder got in a qualifying bid on time; no one else did.

    You had to apply to be pre-approved by about March 11, and only Hansen was pre-approved. He was told the qualifying bid was $15M, so be bid $15.1M. He was the only qualified bidder. And he is probably pleasantly surprised that no one else pre-qualified to bid.

    Anyway, Kehriotis announced today that’s he’s out. He timed that announcement for March 29, which is when McCann thinks ROFR ended. This is not a coincidence.

    There really was an auction for Cook’s 7%. It had one bidder; now no one else will match it. Kehriotis was the last hope.

  15. The sad thing is, it looks like ebay had a TV show…. http://www.tv.com/shows/ebay-tv/ and I thought things like Storage Wars and Auction Kings were sad (and all those QVC channels).

  16. Considering the trustee wrote “The Purchase Agreement provides that the Sale is conditioned on, among other things, (1) offering the LP Interests to the Non-Selling Limited Partners for the same Purchase Price and the failure of any Non-Selling Limited Partner to elect timely match the Purchase Price,” then, as Neil wrote, any current limited partners not selling (I guess that means Not-Cook rather than Not-Cook/Maloofs) can buy the 7% for $15.1 M if they want to speak up.

    Or somebody can always oppose the final sale if they’d like.

    This is getting pretty far from the ebay format of which I know.

  17. What you’re not considering:

    Kehriotis owns 12% of the franchise. To block Hansen, he’s have to have his 12%, plus Cook’s 7%, and then he would be able to match Hansen’s offer for 65%.

    Kehriotis announced today he doesn’t have the money to do this.

    Yes, he can afford 7% of the team. But not 84% of it. The NBA needs to know about his partners; they, too, have to be vetted. To block Hansen, Kehriotis would be forced to take on 84% of the team, at Hansen’s valuation, to do it. If someone partners with him, they have to be vetted first.

    Yes, it can be done. And as a practical matter, it will not. He could still surprise us, that’s true. But he won’t.

  18. You know its April in New York when Kevin Johnson is in town giving a presentation. If you want to play follow the money, the only real money being spent here is from the Hansen/Ballmer group. Team Sacramento has just recycled the same parking and sports finance consultants and the Mayor is running up frequent flier miles.

  19. For just the footprint of the block in SoDo, Hansen needed to buy plots from 5 separate property owners and pull up a city street owned by Seattle. The move he needed to gain serious consideration for that as an “arena site” is by making it available. All the other stuff developments around the arena will require(d) even more property owners.

    Did anyone notice that the 2004 downtown plaza plan Hansen points to was put together by what’s now Hansen’s architects 360 Architecture (but not the Populous/HOK Sport architecture group involved in Sac’s 2012 plan arena with AEG) ? Small world of stadium builders or maybe some sour grapes from 360 if Hansen’s arena doesn’t go forward.

  20. My church in Sacramento is too small to accommodate the amount of people attending Easter Vigil. Also, parking in Midtown Sacramento is a challenge. I am now supporting a new arena because if the new arena incorporates a Catholic Church, we could attract world class clergy including Popes and Cardinals. It’s more than just about basketball. First Communions and Baptisms alone, according to City Manager Shirey, would inject billions, if not gazillions of into the local economy. It’s more than just about basketball. #HereWePray #PrayingToWin #AprilFools

  21. Gawd, I just found Carmichael Dave’s youtube channel.

    I think I’ve died and gone to heaven!

    http://www.youtube.com/user/playingtowintour

    Good luck sitting through these idiotic videos.

  22. The interview with the OKC mayor walked through the process of a 3% increase in city sales tax in about a minute. Yeah, the wonders of what passing a 1% tax increase for 15 months+ will do to raise money for sports arenas. Lucky that they passed that before the financial crisis hit.

    Right now, OKC has a 3.875% sales tax rate from the city and 4.5% from the state.
    Seattle – 6.5% goes to the state, 2.6% to the City of Seattle, 0.4% goes to the Regional Transit Authority (RTA). But there’s no state income tax so it’s nice and regressive.

  23. Glad I saw that, M. It exceeded my expectations, and they were pretty darn high, after seeing his bus in a news photo and reading a bit of the story. What an attention junkie. This guy isn’t even getting 15 minutes, maybe 15 seconds. I know a thing or two about hokey local media, I used to live in Little Rock. Sacramento is a paradise compared to that.

  24. You’re famous, Neil!

    http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/31/5305132/will-sacramentos-downtown-grow.html

  25. Rose Garden/Memorial Coliseum never generated any of this miraculous “growth”
    Sea Hawk and Mariner Stadiums never generated any of this miraculous “growth”

    Both Seattle and Portland have had a dynamic downtown and city urban scenes for a 100 years…

    Urban Centers of commerce and retail for 100 or more years…they have changed as does any dynamic urban center but all this redevelopment BS and arena BS did not contribute ONE iota to changing an existing urban scene…

    all this government freeloading and give-aways will not make Sacramento into something it has not been for 60 years…

    never happen

  26. There’s talk on the Twittersphere that the Maloofs may keep the team if the NBA BOG doesn’t approve the Hansen deal. The worst part about that is that we’re doomed to repeat another winter and spring of KJ at NBA All Star games and at NYC BOG meetings.

  27. sergio, the studies of the Centurylink stadium in Seattle’s SoDo arena showed decent growth in restaurant/bar spending around the arena… that may have been helped by all the NFL games being at UW for a few years before the Clink was built. Of course, both those examples you gave are separated from any real downtown by not-small distances.

  28. Rose Garden/Memorial Coliseum and just located across Willamette from downtown Portland

    plenty of people ride their bikes over the bridges…just across the Steel or Broadway Bridges…

    but around those places it is AS IT HAS BEEN for 50 years…

    I get Mariner Field is 3000 feet from Pioneer Square…

    All I ever saw was the Pyramid Brewery (remember they close up shop in Sac because of the miserable economic climate) on the west side of the Stadiums

  29. The comment about the Maloofs not selling if Hansen’s bid is rejected seems to have started with some tweets from Scott Howard-Cooper.

    https://twitter.com/SHowardCooper

    To me, it makes sense. The Maloofs are making a small profit on the Kings now, but at $525M, they found a way to get in the black permanently at the same time they got out. Mastrov’s offer probably isn’t enough to get them into the black permanently, so why would they do that?

    Honestly, if the BOG rejects Hansen’s offer, it’s better than 50-50 that the Maloofs will continue to own the team. That would be a terrible situation. I know I’d never go to another game. They’d be the Sacramento Astros.

    And to think how much of this could have been avoided if KJ had simply gotten his act together and assembled a qualifying bid for Cook’s 7%. The answer was right in front of him, and he botched it. What a dipsh*t. I don’t have a clue why Mastrov didn’t make an offer; he’s probably not that serious about buying the team.

    If Hansen is not approved, the value of this franchise nosedives. They’ll be talking about $375M again. At that price, the Maloofs could easily sue for tortious interference. I think they’d win.

  30. Stern has said that one of his last goals as commissioner is to get the league back to Seattle. If the BOG meeting was on 3/18, we wouldn’t be talking about this anymore. It wouldn’t take a miracle, just more money, and it ain’t gonna happen.

  31. Much has been speculated about the significance of Hansen’s pursuit and bid for the 7% share while simultaneously raising an important dilemma for the BoG: How could the owners possibly justify rejecting Hansen’s bid for the 65% share, but then vote to approve his bid for the 7%?

    And while we’re discussing minority shares, let’s not forget Hansen is now pursuing shares from THREE separate Kings’ owners: 53% Maloofs, 12% Hernreich, 7% Cook (in bankruptcy court). Again, how can the BoG approve the 12% and/or 7% shares, yet reject the 53%? How could they possibly explain that?

  32. How is that a dilemma, exactly? Is there any reason to expect the NBA won’t rule on all three shares simultaneously?

  33. No, I don’t expect the NBA to rule on the three shares separately, but on what grounds would they reject Hansen’s pursuit of a mere 7% share? He’s more than qualified to be the majority owner, much less a minority owner.

    Neil, how plausible is it if Hansen is approved for the 7%, but denied the 65% he would then exercise his ROFR to match a purchase agreement between the Maloofs and a Sac-based ownership group?

  34. Jeff S, I don’t know what Neil’s answer will be, but I can’t resist answering it (with my own opinion, of course): If Hansen is approved to buy 7%, he will be approved to own 65%. WILL be. I don’t want to make this seem uncertain at all.

    That’s why it was so important for Ranadive or Mastrov to get hold of that 7%. Those two are now entirely unable to obtain that 7%, and if they were really all that interested in buying the Kings, they’d have bid on it. So I suspect that these whales have limits.

    Hansen is extremely motivated; Ranadive is a bargain hunter. When extremely motivated goes up against bargain hunter, who usually wins?

  35. Thanks, Mike. And while I addressed the question to Neil I certainly appreciate yours and anyone else’s thoughts on the matter. I just finished reading an article on cowbellkingdom.com (yes, I realize the source is the least bit objective, but I couldn’t resist) that said Sac may submit a counteroffer for the 7% on Monday. I’ve read in other places the bidding for that 7% is essentially over to outside parties although the LP’s may still have ROFR. And, of course, KJ and his propaganda machine are proceeding as if everything is still going as planned, including their failure to pursue the 7%. I seriously lose respect for that guy and his cronies every day. All that man is is talk. I’d be embarrassed if he were my mayor.

  36. “No, I don’t expect the NBA to rule on the three shares separately, but on what grounds would they reject Hansen’s pursuit of a mere 7% share?”

    They don’t need *grounds*. This isn’t a court of law – it’s a vote of 30 business partners.

  37. Geez, Neil, why do you take things so literally? I’m trying to have a constructive conversation on a topic I know very little about (obviously) so I can learn and understand this subject. I’m more than aware the BoG is comprised of 30 business partners and I know they’ll likely make their decision on the Kings franchise based on what’s best for them and their pocketbooks.

    I’ll rephrase my question: Why would the BoG reject Hansen’s pursuit of the 7% share?

    Thank-you.

  38. Because they wish him to keep going for a majority of a team in Seattle. A team that isn’t Sacramento. Easier to keep him fighting if hungry.

  39. Or they want to encourage cities to up the ante to keep teams by building stadiums, so they figure they’ll reward Sacramento. Or they’re worried about Hansen’s ability to make money in Seattle while paying off an arena. Or they want to get teams in both cities, and figure Hansen will stick around, but the Burkle/etc. group will disappear if the team moves.

    Or some owner’s wife got food poisoning once at Pike Place Market. Really, go read John Helyar’s book “Lords of the Realm,” and you’ll never again wonder why sports team owners do anything again — or rather, you’ll still wonder, but you won’t expect an answer.

  40. The cowbellkingdom article is completely wrong. Just read the court document yourself. You must prequalify with the NBA to bid on those shares; that’s how the court set this up.

    The pre-application process takes 3 weeks or more, and it’s less than 3 weeks to the auction. That is why the trustee ended the auction; the pre-qualification clock ran out. If you haven’t yet applied for pre-qualification, you will not be able to bid.

    Cowbellkingdom is nuts.

    The current partners can match Hansen’s offer, but I don’t see any motivation for them to do so. As I pointed out before, if they match Hansen’s offer for those shares, they’d then be expected to own whatever they own now, plus Cook’s 7%, and then be able to bid on 65% of the team. In Kehriotis’ case, this means they’d end up owning 12% + 7% + 65%, with no outside help at all. I’m really sorry, but that just won’t happen.

    There is nothing structural to keep Kehriotis from matching on the 7%, then matching on the 65%; nothing but money. Similar numbers apply for all the current LPs.

  41. Not to get overly personal here, but Bob Cook has the worst toupe ever.

    http://www.cowbellkingdom.com/2013/03/27/prospective-sonics-owner-chris-hansen-moves-to-buy-bob-cooks-stake-in-sacramento-kings/

  42. I never said I believed that story, just passing along what it said. This is just one of many ways Hansen has outsmarted bozo KJ who, once again, is trying to spin this as just another thing Sac anticipated all along. What a croc.

    I’ve also wondered how much legitimate interest the other LPs have in matching the 7%. 1) Can they afford it? 2) Is it even worthwhile? 3) What do they hope to gain considering the strength of the H/B/N package?

    It seems KJ will have to rely on convincing these LPs (who’ve been very quiet since this all started) to get them to match since his sperm whales don’t have the balls to back up all their talk.

  43. Or they want to encourage cities to up the ante to keep teams by building stadiums, so they figure they’ll reward Sacramento. Or they’re worried about Hansen’s ability to make money in Seattle while paying off an arena. Or they want to get teams in both cities, and figure Hansen will stick around, but the Burkle/etc. group will disappear if the team moves.

    Or some owner’s wife got food poisoning once at Pike Place Market.

    Or because there’s no state income tax in Washington while California’s is one of the highest, and they don’t want the players to have more in reserve when the next lockout happens.

  44. Maybe the NBA doesn’t like to have teams of unrelated people with minor net worth figures buying shares of their franchises anymore ? The minor investors who were to buy Cook’s shares may have been discouraged.

    But that is an interesting notion, that the judge is going to say “you just paid $5M for each 1% of a team, once these minority shares get rolled into your major shares they’ll jump from under $2M each 1% to something higher.” Maybe the courts are not realizing full value until the future of the franchise is known… but, then again, if $13.1 M will cover all the debts maybe they’d be ok with a single bid.

  45. Maybe the NBA would want to have a permanent presence in the Capital of California. A team in Sacramento gives the NBA kind of an embassy to California. Need to talk to a State Senator about subsidy for the Clippers new arena, talk it over in a luxury suite at the Kings/Clippers game.

  46. Or maybe an owner is rubbed the wrong way by Hansen; or maybe an owner does not wish for an ownership group that has much more money than they do; or maybe an owner does not wish to have his team go to “cold, dreary, end of the road podunk Seattle, the players don’t like it, it is a costly and logistical pain in the rear end to go to Seattle, screw it”.

  47. Any predictions for tomorrow’s meetings? I still have Hansen/Ballmer getting the franchise and Sacramento getting honorable mention and told to wait for the next franchise.

  48. Hansen is buying more and more of the Kings as the days go by. On 4/18, where will the votes for Sac. come from? Going to be 29-0, or 27-2 at best, if the Lakers do a cynical vote against. I expect the Warriors and their new ownership to vote against, to make sure M is fully on board. (just kidding, no harm intended!)

  49. But, I do expect the Warriors to be the one sure vote, against. It makes sense, if that is where the logical Kings fan is going to land.

  50. I really can see the logic of the Warriors voting against, if they think the vote won’t be close.

    PR.

    “We wanted them to stay, and truly understand how raw fans feel. Please come to our games against the Sonics and boo lustily. While you’re at it, you may just find that a mini-weekend-plan is to your liking. We have many great packages from which to select.”

    If they think the vote is close, they’ll vote to approve the move.

    Are you going, Neil?

  51. I figure I have just as good a view from Brooklyn as standing outside the door of the NBA offices.

  52. Sorry, the St. Regis. The NBA offices don’t have room service, apparently.

  53. Sad, I was hoping to see a sign in the crowd saying “Public Subsidy of Pro Sports: $10B+ in Hidden Costs @fieldofschemes”

  54. if there’s room, add #PimpingThePeople to pay proper homage to the mustached dude.

  55. Hey, great news! I hear this decision may not happen on April 18-19 after all!

    Woohoo!

    http://nba.si.com/2013/04/03/sacramento-kings-seattle-supersonics-david-stern-nba-meetings/

  56. It’s a David Stern grunt. About anything of consequence (other than the idea it may take more than a few weeks to sort this out) – wishy, washy, noncommittal despite many words being said. A loquacious grunt.

  57. First of al, Kudos to Neil. He called it. I’ve been following a lot of “media folks” on twitter and Neil was the only one, as far as I can tell, who put forth the idea that Stern may not want to decide this by the 18th and may just sit back and enjoy the circus of two cities outbidding each other. Neil, you continue to see through the bull. Kudos.

    Secondly, does anyone else here see the leverage play that Hansen/Ballmer refuse to use? The only reason the Seattle group is being jerked around is because of the idea that they will just hang around for the next opportunity if this one doesn’t work out. Hansen has zero leverage with that attitude. Here is what he should say tomorrow – “just to be clear, I will stick around but Ballmer has notified me that this is the only offer he will make in this process. Meaning, if Kings don’t come to Seattle, he’s out. As a CEO of world’s biggest software company, he doesn’t want to see his or Microsoft’s name being dragged in the mud”.

    I would love to see the BOG turn down Seattle if that was the scenario.

  58. Neil, you’re going to get a lot of questions tomorrow about AB900.

    http://opr.ca.gov/s_californiajobs.php

    I’m finding that people in Sacramento don’t quite understand what it means. They think it means that EIR’s are done in 175 days. Nope. It means that challenges to EIR’s must be made within 175 days of EIR approval.

    That’s very different.