Kings reach deal on arena to keep team in Sacramento
By THE SPORTS XCHANGE
|Toronto Raptors Andrea Bargnani and Sacramento Kings Donte Greene during NBA action at the Air Canada Centre, in Toronto, on Jan. 11, 2012. (ERNEST DOROSZUK/QMI Agency)
Owners of the Sacramento Kings announced Monday morning in Orlando, Fla., that they have reached a tentative agreement with the city of Sacramento to build an arena in downtown Sacramento, a deal that will keep the team in Sacramento for the long term, the Sacramento Bee reported.
The Kings were on the verge of moving to Anaheim last year, before Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA star, was able to delay the move with the promise of a new arena for the team. The NBA set a March 1 deadline to reach an agreement to build a new arena, and the parties appear to have reached that agreement after long negotiations.
“It’s game over,” Johnson told the Bee Monday.
The Maloof family, which owns the team, has agreed to contribute about $75 million toward the project, and more than half the funding will come through leasing the city’s parking to a private operator. The city of Sacramento will contribute between $200 million and $250 million, according to the Bee, and most of the money will come from that parking lease.
A surcharge in the range of 3 to 5 percent on every ticket sold to an event at the new arena will go directly into the city’s coffers to help fund the arena.
The NBA also will contribute to the project, although the amount is not clear.
“(The owners) have authorized me to be as supportive as we could possibly be in this process so we could cement the future of the NBA in Sacramento,” league commissioner David Stern told the Bee.
Gavin Maloof, one of the team owners, was in tears when he announced the agreement.
“I’m still emotional,” he said. “It’s been a long time.”
His brother, George Maloof, said, “We got something worked out, tentative. We’re all very excited about it. We were skeptical about whether or not something could happen.”
Unless there are unforeseen problems, the Sacramento City Council would vote on the plan at its March 6 meeting.