A month after Seattle investor Chris Hansen admitted to a $80,000 donation to a group opposing Sacramento’s new arena efforts, the NBA commissioner team told the Seattle Times that Hansen has not hurt Seattle’s efforts to get back an NBA franchise.
Hansen was in a lengthy battle for the Sacramento Kings franchise, but lost out to a bid lead by Vivek Ranadivé who kept the team in Sacramento. In mid-August, an inquiry by the California Fair Political Practices Commission found that a $80,000 donation to STOP, a Sacramento advocacy group opposing the city’s arena plans, was tied back to Hansen.
“I would say it won’t affect Seattle’s chances,” Future NBA commissioner Adam Silver told the Time’s Percy Allen. “I haven’t talked to Chris since those allegations came out. I think as he said, he got caught up in the moment.” Allen says current NBA commissioner David Stern, who will step down and be replaced by Silver come February 2014, “echoed Silver’s sentiment”.
Shortly before losing the bid for the team, Hansen says he contacted a Los Angeles law firm and asked them to conduct research concerning the viability of a new Sacramento arena. He now claims he paid the law firm for the research, but was unaware that the law firm then sent the money to STOP. He has also said that he will take steps to prevent any signatures obtained through the use of his money from being used by STOP. STOP, which stands for “Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork”, has been collecting signatures in an effort to put Sacramento’s arena plans to a public vote.