Sacramento bid to keep Kings attracts fourth investor

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A fourth “whale” has joined the Sacramento effort to buy the Kings and build a downtown arena.

Just days after it was announced that Silicon Valley entrepreneur Vivek Ranadive had joined Mark Mastrov and Ron Burkle in their bid to keep the Sacramento Kings from moving to Seattle, Ranadive himself announced Monday, in a phone interview with The Sacramento Bee, that he is adding a fourth heavyweight partner to the mix: the Jacobs family of San Diego, which heads Qualcomm, an international high technology company.

The trio — Paul, Jeff and Hal Jacobs — could not be reached immediately for comment. But Ranadive, a co-owner of the Golden State Warriors, told The Bee the trio bring added heft and expertise to the Sacramento team.

“I’m happy to add I am adding the legendary Jacobs family to the dream team tonight,” he said.

Qualcomm is one of the largest companies in America, with more than $6.1 billion in earnings last year, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The family-run company was founded in 1985, has offices in more than 150 countries, and purchased the naming rights to San Diego’s National Football League stadium.

Ranadive said the addition of the Jacobs family is not necessary, however, for the Sacramento group to compete with Seattle, it just adds to the heft of the local bid.

“Each person in this has the capacity to do this on their own,” he said. “This is about building a global brand. It’s about putting more wood behind the arrow.”

In his first interview since joining the Sacramento bid, Ranadive said he is participating because “there are bigger things that happen in life than yourself.”

He came to California without money and is pleased to do something significant for Sacramento and California.

“I felt this was an opportunity to do something significant,” he said. “I believe without a sports team, it is hard for cities to thrive. I feel humbled to be given the opportunity to partner to keep this great franchise in this great city.”

He said he is a friend of Mastrov’s and had been talking with him for some time about joining the Sacramento group.

“I felt I had to do that,” he said. “I am very excited at the possibilities. You have an amazing fan base.”