Sacramento, CA, United States (4E Sports) – The owners of international high-technology company Qualcomm has joined the group working to keep the Kings in Sacramento.
According to Silicon Valley entrepreneur Viviek Ranadive, the Jacobs family has joined him, Los Angeles businessman Ron Burkle and East Bay’s Mark Mastrov in their quest to fight a move to relocate the Kings to Seattle.
“Each person in this has the capacity to do this on their own,” Ranadive said. “This is about building a global brand. It’s about putting more wood behind the arrow.”
Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs and brothers Jeff and Hal Jacobs could not be reached for comment.
On Monday, Burkle and Mastrov visited Sacramento to pitch their plan to council members and community leaders. They were joined by project partner Todd Chapman, head of JMA Ventures, which owns Downtown Plaza.
Ranadive explained his decision to join the group, saying he wants to do something big for Sacramento and California.
“I believe without a sports team, it is hard for cities to thrive,” he said. “I feel humbled to be given the opportunity to partner to keep this great franchise in this great city.”
In a statement, Mayor Kevin Johnson welcomed Ranadive’s comments, saying “their belief in Sacramento speaks volumes about a community that’s growing stronger by the day.”
“Some of the most successful leaders in the state are coming together to do something truly transformational for the capital city,” added Johnson, who gained added momentum going into tonight’s council vote with Ranadive’s announcement.
The council will decide whether the city should invest $ 258 million in a public-private partnership to build a $ 448 million arena at the Downtown Plaza.
Johnson wants to send a “resounding” message to the NBA that city officials are solidly behind keeping the Kings.
“I think it should be a 7-2 vote, if I were to guess today,” Johnson said, “but that doesn’t mean we aren’t striving for a 9-0 vote.”
Ranadive’s group is battling a group from Seattle determined to purchase the Kings and move it to their city.
The relocating team requires a three-fourths vote from the league’s Board of Governors. A majority vote from the board will approve a sale of the team.
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