A new contender in the fight to keep the Kings in Sacramento has emerged.  Ken Berger of CBS Sports reports that Mark Mastrov, the founder of 24 Hour Fitness, has had discussions about purchasing the team and keeping them in Sacramento.

“Definitely, there’ve been conversations,” Mastrov said from his northern California office. “Definitely there’s interest in acquiring the team and keeping it in Sacramento.”

Mastrov met with the Maloofs recently, and two league sources speaking on condition of anonymity said he has made a formal offer.

Mastrov was a bidder in the 2010 sale of the Golden State Warriors, but eventually lost that battle to eventual owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber.  He is based out of the bay area and lives in Lafayette.

The potential Kings buyer has ties in the NBA.  In 2007, he co-founded the Steve Nash Fitness World & Sports Club with the Los Angeles Lakers point guard.  He has also reportedly done business and “formed multi-million dollar partnerships” with other athletes like Magic Johnson and cyclist Lance Armstrong.

Here is some quick background on Mastrov from Bloomberg Business:

Mr. Mark S. Mastrov serves as the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer at Fitness Holdings Worldwide, Inc. Mr. Mastrov serves as a Founding Partner at Steve Nash Fitness World, Inc. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. until October 2006. He is considered an innovator and visionary within the health and fitness industry. Mr. Mastrov started 24 Fitness in 1983. From there, he built a fitness empire of more 420 clubs located in 16 U.S. States, Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. Recently, he founded the New Evolution Fitness Company (NEFC), based in Northern California. Mr. Mastrov is the Chairman of New Evolution Ventures, which he co-founded. He serves as the Chairman of the Board of 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. He has been a Director of Netpulse, Inc. since March, 2011.

Update (4:42 pm): More local buyers are emerging.  The Sacramento Bee reports that Dale Carlsen, founder of Rocklin-based Sleep Train Mattress Centers,  has interest in making a potential bid.  And according to CK Contributor Rob McAllister, former Kings executive Greg Van Dusen has an investor group that can buy the team and “make a qualifying offer to NBA”.

Today’s news follows a report this morning by Matt Steinmetz of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area that the Maloofs and Chris Hansen have an agreement to sell the Kings for $525 million.