Sacramento Kings arena with Maloofs a no-go

11:06 PM, Apr 27, 2012   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA - Several attempts to rework a Kings arena deal with the Maloofs, the Kings owners, have ended.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said "our differences are irreconcilable" in a news conference Friday after meeting with George Maloof for several hours earlier Friday, Thursday and last week.

"We worked really hard, we did everything we said we would do, and it still wasn't enough," Johnson said.

Kings co-owner George Maloof said that the framework of the deal reached in Orlando during the NBA's All-Star break, "wasn't a good deal."

"You want to do a deal that makes sense, not something that the day you sign it you go 'oh no,'" Maloof said from his executive office at the Palms Casino Resort. "We didn't feel it was good for the City either, quite frankly."

Two weeks ago, the NBA and Johnson declared the term sheet agreement reached in February was off. The Maloofs sought changes to the financial arrangement Sacramento city representatives said were untenable. Johnson accused the Maloofs of backing off from their deal.

Friday, Johnson said major sticking points such as the Maloofs refusing to put up collateral for repayment of bonds, their refusal to pay pre-development fees, and their insistence on a 15-year instead of 30-year agreement to keep the Kings in town remained.

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"If you don't accept the numbers, then the discussions aren't going to go too much further," Johnson said. "I'm disappointed for Sacramento."

During his interview, Maloof reiterated again that his family's intention is to not move the team from Sacramento.

"I'm going to say it one more time, our intention is to stay in Sacramento and we haven't proven otherwise," he said. "A year ago when we said we were leaving, we were sincere about that. We're staying, we're going to get something done and we're focused on building a better team."

"We tried," Maloof said earlier Friday. "The timing's just not right. Wow! Man! It's just not the right time."

He referenced the City facing proposed budget cuts and suggested it would be better if both sides stepped back from the arena situation for the time being.

Maloof took issue with the subject of not agreeing to put up more collateral, saying, "They (city representatives) keep saying that but we already have collateral on our existing loan."

Maloof said he was more optimistic than Johnson about an arena and the Kings organization has "no intention of leaving. We'll just march on and see what we can get done. We're not trying to fool anyone. We love our fans. I was at the game last night. They showed their passion."

Kings spokesman Eric W. Rose issued the following statement after the Friday morning's meetings:

This morning, at Mayor Kevin Johnson's request, the Mayor and representatives of the Kings met for a second day of informal talks at City Hall and could not reach an agreement. At this time no further meetings with the City are scheduled.

The Kings will continue the operations of the organization and building on the franchise's young nucleus of players.


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