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Maloofs could be asked to pay $80M toward arena, sources say

1:36 AM, Feb 9, 2012   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA - Sources very close to the negotiations over who will pay what for a new entertainment and sports complex in Sacramento said the deal is similar to what Kansas City struck when it built its new arena.

In that deal, A.E.G. shelled out $53 million toward the project.

Sacramento city leaders have long said the private investment would be around $130 million towards the $400 million for the total project.

Sources said by using Kansas City's paradigm, if A.E.G. contributes $50 million, that will leave $80 million for the Maloofs and the NBA to put toward the private investment portion for funding the arena.

"We don't know for sure what A.E.G. will be doing," said Jeremiah Jackson of Think Big, the group charged with getting the project done. "It was $53 million in Kansas City, but the deal terms haven't been finalized. However, that's certainly the model that we're trying to emulate."

Another source close to the talks said a few options have been laid out for the Maloof payment, but the one that keeps coming up is a 30-year lease, paid up front.

No one will say what the Maloofs have stated they're willing, or able to contribute.

Sacramento has until March 1 to deliver a funding plan to the NBA. If there was no plan, the NBA said it would allow the Kings' owners to consider moving the franchise.

The new arena was almost derailed at a Sacramento City Council meeting Tuesday night.

The council voted 5 to 4 against putting the issue of arena parking funds to a vote on the June ballot.

Had Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy's proposal passed, the Kings would be as good as gone.

Arena supporters were relieved.

James Ham was one of the producers of the documentary "Small Market, Big Heart" about Sacramento Kings fans and their fight to keep their NBA team. He's also the author of the blog "Cowbell Kingdom." Ham said the close vote surprised a lot of people.

"To be honest with you, it was a lot political posturing," Ham said. "To me, I was surprised that the vote was that close. At the end of the day, a 5-4 vote is still a victory for Kevin Johnson and his crew."

Ham said Kings fans shouldn't be that shaken by how close the vote was. He said Kings arena supporters need to realize there's still a fight and they need to continue to step up.

By Nick Monacelli, 

Reporter Suzanne Phan contributed to this story.


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