Sports

Stern: Relocation Vote Could Be Delayed

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David Stern (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

David Stern (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — The future home of the Kings may not be settled this month after all.

With owners facing a difficult choice between a move to Seattle or the team staying put in Sacramento, NBA Commissioner David Stern said Wednesday the expected vote in two weeks may be delayed.

“We’ve never had a situation like this,” Stern said.

“And the seriousness of purpose to me is really incredible, because (owners) know that there’s a lot at stake here for two communities and the NBA.”

A Seattle group led by investor Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has a pending agreement with the Maloof family to buy 65 percent of the team and move it back to the city the SuperSonics left in 2008. Sacramento has put together its own group to make a competing bid.

Both sides made presentations to a committee of owners Wednesday that left enough questions that Stern says he doesn’t know when a decision will be made.

A vote was expected during the April 18-19 board of governors meeting. But Stern said questions remain about real estate and arena construction timelines, and owners may need more time to sort through them.

It couldn’t go much past that date, because a 2013-14 schedule has to be made and tickets have to be sold.

“I wouldn’t expect it if it does to slide by a lot, because there’s a combined interest in having some clarity come to this situation,” Stern said.

The Seattle group went first, touting the financial strength of its city and the passion of its fans. Sacramento followed, stressing the support it’s shown for the Kings, even during their many losing seasons, and the city’s plans for a new arena that would revitalize its downtown.

Stern again ruled out expansion at this time, meaning only one of the cities will have an NBA team next season.

“There’s no question that Seattle is a vibrant and thriving market with plans for a great building, and Sacramento has been a great and supportive market of the NBA with plans for a new building,” Stern said. “And so we need to flesh out for the owners, every owner seems to have a different question, but we’ve got a fair amount of work to do.”

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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