Chris Hansen led the group that tried to purchase the Sacramento Kings with the understanding that once they took ownership, the team would be relocated to Seattle.
Ultimately, it didn’t come to pass.
Once NBA owners officially voted against relocation, the Seattle group’s bid was effectively ended. But after that vote took place, Hansen continued to work against ownership in Sacramento by funding a group that was trying to prevent a new downtown arena from ever being built.
Hansen released a statement once the news became public, which is reprinted below in its entirety (via Sonicsarena.com):
“I made a mistake I regret.
“When our binding agreement to purchase the Sacramento Kings became a competitive situation and we were faced with both the prospect of seeing our transaction fail and losing our $30 million deposit, I engaged Loeb & Loeb to canvas the various opposition groups to gain an understanding of their efforts and the prospects of their success.
“During this time I was approached through Loeb by the opposition about making a contribution to the opposition’s efforts as part of a broader group and agreed to make a donation.
“In this regard I would just like to highlight that I have never directly engaged with or even had any conversations or contact with STOP, Taxpayers For Safer Neighborhoods, or any the various consultants engaged in the Sacramento Arena opposition. It was also not my intent to be the primary financial sponsor of the opposition’s efforts. I merely agreed to make a donation to the opposition in what had become a competitive and heated process.
“I have not agreed to provide any further political contributions and do not intend to make any further contributions.
“I would also just point out that the contribution was made in my personal capacity and not on behalf of our ownership group or my partners. In fact, I have never discussed the contribution with them to date.
“While I’m sure everyone can appreciate how easy it is to get caught up the heat of battle, with the benefit of hindsight, this is clearly a decision I regret. I wish the city of Sacramento and Kings fans the best in their efforts and they have my commitment not to have any involvement in their arena efforts in the future.”
— Chris Hansen
It will be up to the league to determine whether or not this is a sincere act of contrition.