SACRAMENTO, CA - Six months after a tentative agreement between the city of Sacramento and the Maloofs, owners of the Sacramento Kings, to build a new arena at the downtown railyards blew up, Mayor Kevin Johnson says the city has done all it can.
"I think that we've done our part in terms of the challenge that was thrown out in front of us. I don't know what else we can do along those lines," Johnson said in an exclusive News10 interview.
He does not intend to go back to the drawing board.
"We have a deal that's ready to be signed if it makes sense for them or somebody else," said Johnson.
George Maloof has said the team would stay with a new arena or a renovated Sleep Train Arena. Gavin Maloof in New York on Thursday for NBA owners meetings, said, "I'm just here to listen," acknowledging there would be no discussions of relocation.
Add in the fact that a major partner, arena operator AEG is no longer on board and it appears a downtown venue or revamped Natomas arena will not happen.
The mayor thinks it is very possible the Kings will move, saying he would not be surprised at all if the franchise files for relocation.
Where might the Kings call home in the not-far future? The Seattle City Council and Kings County have approved a financial plan to build a new basketball venue. Maloof applications for Anaheim Royals, Los Angeles Royals, Orange County Royals and the Anaheim Royals of Southern California trademarks remain active, per the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website. And in August, there was a report Virginia Beach, Virginia and Comcast were looking to lure the Kings.
Meantime, all NBA Commissioner David Stern will say is the Kings should be happy in Sacramento for now, but a new arena is needed for the team to stay long-term. The NBA Board of Governors has to approve any relocation.
The Kings regular season opens against the Chicago Bulls in Chicago, Oct. 31.
2012 CHRONOLOGY of SACRAMENTO ARENA DEVELOPMENTS
Sept. 25, 2012: Seattle could be targeting Sacramento Kings
Aug. 28, 2012: Comcast would seek pro team to fill new Virginia Beach arena
Aug. 23, 2012: REPORT: Sacramento Kings moving to Virginia?
July 9, 2012: Mayor, ThinkBIG working to attract baseball
July 3, 2012: Sacramento arena Plan B falls apart
June 12, 2012: Stern: League will not approve Kings move to Anaheim
May 15, 2012: New documents detail failed Sacramento arena negotiations
May 8, 2012: Sacramento spent $680,000 on failed arena project
April 28, 2012: Maloof: Arena wasn't a good deal
April 24, 2012: Johnson, Maloofs to discuss possible revival of arena deal
April 20, 2012: Johnson, Kings owner meet in Las Vegas
April 17, 2012: Mayor: City exploring options for alternative arena plan
April 17, 2012: Sacramento releases Maloof red-lined term sheet, its response
April 16, 2012: Kings co-owner talks about failed arena deal
April 14, 2012: Maloof wants mayor removed from arena negotiations
April 13, 2012: Sacramento arena deal not going to happen
April 13, 2012: Deal for new Sacramento arena crumbles
April 12, 2012: Sacramento business leaders want Maloofs to bow out
April 11, 2012: Maloofs, NBA meet in New York about pre-development costs
April 5, 2012: New arena document conveys Maloofs concerns
April 4, 2012: City Council approves arena pre-development money
March 30, 2012: Maloofs surprised pre-development fee is an issue
March 29, 2012: NBA to assist Maloofs with pre-development payment
March 20, 2012: AEG president: Sacramento is a good bet
March 6, 2012: Sacramento City Council approves arena plans
An informal survey News10 posted on Facebook found that far and away, responders say that don't care anymore if the Kings stay in Sacramento. One-third as many believe the team will move after this season and a small minority "still believe" the Kings will stay in town.