SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A Southern California developer announced the $140 million purchase Monday of a 53 percent controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association and their arena.
James Thomas, who will be president of the new owners' group, identified his partners in the Los Angeles investors' group as Eli Broad, chairman of Broad Inc.; Robert Maguire III; Edward Fox Jr.; and Richard Gilchrist, all with Maguire Thomas Partners, one of the nation's largest builders' groups.
Thomas said Gregg Lukenbill, Joe Benvenuti, Fred Anderson and Bob Cook will have a minority position after having been franchise owners since January 1985, the year they brought the Kings to Sacramento from Kansas City after paying a reported price of $10.5 million. Arco Arena, which cost $50 million, became the team's home in 1988.
'Gregg and Joe were responsible for bringing the city its first professional sports club when the Kings moved to Sacramento in 1985,' Thomas said in a statement announcing completion of the sale.
'Since then, they have worked to build the team, its sponsors and its fans. We gratefully acknowledge their efforts, and look forward to working closely with them to develop this franchise to its full potential.'
Thomas has said he has no plans to move the NBA team from Arco Arena or Sacramento, which he praised for its strong fan support.
Although the Kings have continued to sell out home games, Lukenbill and the Sacramento Sports Association have had financial problems and needed the sale to raise money to complete a football stadium next to Arco Arena.
Sacramento is on a list of seven cities being considered for a National Football League expansion franchise.
With a 25-51 record, the Kings are in last place in the seven-team Pacific Division of the NBA Western Conference.