Hansen: 44,000 request full season tickets for Sonics

SEATTLE -- Seattle Sonics fans have given Chris Hansen a powerful vote of support on the eve of his pitch to the NBA to buy the Sacramento Kings and move them to Seattle.

Hansen announced Tuesday that 44,000 people and businesses requested to be put on a priority wait list for season tickets when a team comes back to Seattle, with 32,000 of those requests coming in the first 24 hours since the form went live on March 14.

In addition, there were 268 requests for suite tickets and 983 businesses expressed interest in sponsorship opportunities.

"In addition to significantly exceeding our expectations, you all have sent a very clear message that all Sonic fans know in their hearts... that Seattle has and always will be a GREAT basketball city," Hansen wrote in a blog post announcing the results.

Hansen has agreements in place to purchase 65 percent of the Sacramento Kings from the Maloof family and has the top bid for another 7 percent of the team currently in bankruptcy proceedings.

Hansen, along with others including Seattle mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine will be in New York on Wednesday making their pitch to a joint committee of league owners, assembled from the sale and relocation committees.

That committee will made a recommendation for the full NBA Board of Governors to consider when it votes at its annual meeting April 18-19 in New York.

The Associated Press contributed to this report