Seattle’s Sore Loser

Seattle investor Chris Hansen was congratulating the city of Sacramento three months ago for its victorious bid to keep the NBA’s Kings in the California city. Now, he’s apologizing for secretly funding an effort to stop construction of a new arena the deal may be contingent upon.

Hansen, who led the Seattle buyers group that lost its attempt to buy the Kings and move the team, revealed he was the mystery donor who funneled $100,000 into a petition drive to put Sacramento’s arena subsidy before voters in an effort to kill it.

He made the A to another city as early as 2017.

Seattle has been considered a leading candidate for an NBA expansion team. Hansen and two political consultants announced they would quit the drive after their names became public, but the damage may already have been done – for both the arena opposition and the city of Seattle.

James Cathcart, one of the leaders of Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork – STOP – told the Bee the signature-gathering effort would continue. But the process is now seen as tainted, according to local community leaders.

And observers including Mike McCann, a sports law analyst and contributor to NBA TV, told the paper that Hansen may have hurt Seattle’s cause.

“It will probably not be viewed favorably by some NBA owners,” McCann told the paper.

“Hansen has portrayed himself as pro-Seattle and not anti-Sacramento. This revelation … certainly puts him in a different light.”

Sacramento community leaders were less circumspect about Hansen’s revelation. Metro Chamber President Roger Neillo told the Bee Hansen is “a saboteur” who committed “an assault on our entire community.”