Chris Hansen following April 3 meetings in New York City. (Photo: Morgan Ragan)

In the fight over the Sacramento Kings, Chris Hansen is attempting to raise the stakes again.  This afternoon, the man hoping to bring the SuperSonics back to Seattle increased his bid to purchase controlling interest of the Kings based on a stunning $625-million valuation of the franchise.

Hansen and his partners have an agreement in place with the Maloof family and fellow co-owner Bob Hernreich to buy 65 percent of the Kings.  Under the proposed $625-million valuation, the Seattle group is now offering to buy the Kings for an estimated $404 million.

In a statement issued on his Sonics Arena website, Hansen described the move to raise his bid as “an effort to further demonstrate the extent of our commitment to bring basketball back to Seattle.”

This is not the first time Hansen and his fellow investors have increased their bid for the Kings.  A week in advance of last month’s Board of Governor’s meetings in New York, Hansen and company agreed to raise their original $340-million purchasing price by an estimated $17 million.

Not long after Hansen announced his increased offer, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson quickly issued a response to the move through a press release.

“We feel very confident about the position we are in right now. The NBA leadership and owners have always said that their decision would not be dictated by a bidding war. This was always about whether Sacramento, a community that has supported the NBA for 28 years, can put together a plan and organization to ensure the franchise can rebuild and thrive. The ownership group, the city, and the community have shown the NBA, without any shred of doubt, that the Sacramento Kings belong in Sacramento. I believe the NBA owners realize that there is far more to think about than just an increased bid. They know what this story means to the league. We look forward to talking with all of them again in Dallas.”

Last week, the NBA’s relocation committee unanimously recommended against moving the Kings to Seattle.  The league is expected to make its final decision on the team’s future at a special meeting taking place in Dallas next week on May 15.