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Sacramento mayor announces bid to keep Kings basketball in town: media

Mark Mastrov, founder, 24 Hour Fitness speaks at the An Unhealthy America: Obesity and the Economic Implications of Chronic Disease panel at
Mark Mastrov, founder, 24 Hour Fitness speaks at the An Unhealthy America: Obesity and the Economic Implications of Chronic Disease panel at

(Reuters) - The mayor of Sacramento said on Thursday evening that 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov would bid to buy the NBA's Sacramento Kings to keep the basketball team from moving to Seattle, the Sacramento Bee newspaper reported.

Mayor Kevin Johnson also said during his State of the City address that billionaire supermarket mogul Ron Burkle has agreed to work with the city to build a downtown arena, the newspaper reported.

"I hope Seattle gets a team someday," the mayor said, according to the newspaper. "Let me be perfectly crystal clear. It is not going to be this team. Not our team. No way."

The Sacramento Kings could not be reached after business hours for comment and a copy of the mayor's speech was not immediately available.

A prominent Seattle investor has a plan to buy the Kings, move them to Seattle and rename them the SuperSonics, after the team the city lost to Oklahoma in 2008.

The Kings are Sacramento's only major professional sports team, and Johnson, a former NBA star, has previously said he would make "every effort" to keep them from leaving town.

Sacramento's offer - which also includes bringing back the Sacramento Monarchs women's basketball team - will be made to the National Basketball Association on Friday, the Bee reported.

(Reporting by Corrie MacLaggan; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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