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THE KINGS REMAIN IN SACRAMENTO
Thu, 01 Mar 2012 10:10 AM EST

Building a new arena for the Sacramento Kings has never been nearer to fact.

The town, the Sacramento Kings and the NBA declared a tentative deal to finance a new arena that may likely keep the team in California’s capital for the long stretch. The City Council will vote on the strategy March 6. Football spreads

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, NBA commissioner David Stern and the Maloof family, which owns the Kings, emerged from 3 days of talks in Orlando, FL, – where they’d been negotiating during All-Star weekend – to confirm the framework of a deal had been reached, giving fans some 3,000 miles away in the Central Valley reason to cheer for a comeback story that suitably came straight out of Fantasyland. Football odds

“I consider when we left Sacramento and came to Orlando, you people asked me how close were we. I believed that it was a free throw – and you’ve got to make 2 free throws,” Johnson announced. “I believe the city made the 1st free throw, and the Maloof family made the 2nd free throw.

Under the suggested terms and conditions of the deal, the city will contribute $200-$250 million to the approximate $387 million arena, mostly by leasing out parking garages around the facility, a person with awareness of the negotiations claimed. The individual, talking on condition of anonymity because the full financing plan will not be published, asserted Sacramento also will create money through a ticket surcharge.

The Maloofs have concluded to contribute $75 million in up-front money, which includes the sale of land round the team’s existing suburban arena, with clearing a current $67 million loan to the city and contributing more during the deal. The Arena operator also agreed to pay nearly $60 million.

The Kings nearly moved to Anaheim, CA, a year back before Johnson and city leaders persuaded the league to give Sacramento a last chance to help finance an arena. At 1 time, Johnson – a former NBA All-Star with the Phoenix Suns – even called the method a “slow death” and compared the city’s attempts to a “Hail Mary.”

Johnson made a desperate pitch to the NBA Board of Governors last April to give the town a last chance to think up an arena plan. He also acquired time by presenting more than $10 million in commitments for new advertising, ticket purchases and other financial service from regional companies for this season.

The NBA’s relocation board, lead by Oklahoma City owner Clay Bennett, who moved the team now called the Thunder from Seattle in 2008, commended that the league give the town a shot to follow thru – and passed down a March 1st cut off point to think up plans to help finance an arena.

In the final analysis, the offer was powerful enough to persuade the Maloofs to stay – pending the City Council’s approval.

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait, whose city nearly landed the Kings last year and remains the most probable choice to entice the team if the offer crumbles, congratulated Sacramento whilst also reminding the league that Anaheim is a practical choice in days to come.

Despite endeavors by Anaheim and Seattle to swoop in and lure the Kings, the destiny of the franchise is under the control of the Sacramento City Council – which has authorized every arena measure to date under the existing venture. The arena, which could open for the 2015-16 season in the downtown Sacramento rail yards, is a vote away from breaking ground.


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