SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has announced a new investor to help fill the role vacated by billionaire Ron Burkle in the city’s bid to keep the Kings from moving to Seattle.
Johnson said at his weekly news conference Tuesday that Sacramento developer Mark Friedman has joined the group. The announcement comes a day after Burkle backed out because of a conflict of interest stemming from his ownership stake in Relativity Sports, which manages some NBA players’ careers.
Friedman said he will help build the planned arena in downtown Sacramento. He also said he had been in contact with the mayor since January and the timing of Burkle’s decision had nothing to with his emergence.
Sacramento is trying to block a bid from a group that has a deal with the Maloof family to buy the Kings and move the franchise to Seattle next season. NBA owners are vetting both offers.