A new arena in downtown Sacramento is one step closer to becoming reality.
After three consecutive days of negotiations, the city of Sacramento, Maloofs and NBA have reached a deal on a financing plan to construct a new home for the Sacramento Kings.
Courtesy of Rob McAllister, who’s done phenomenal work this entire weekend covering this story in Orlando, here are remarks from mayor Kevin Johnson, Kings’ owner Joe Maloof and NBA commissioner David Stern. They offered their comments after concluding negotiations with a handshake agreement.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson
It’s a new day for Sacramento. We’ve all been working around the clock to get to this point and it’s going to be a defining moment for our community. We have a framework of an agreement going forward. I cannot thank the Maloof family enough. I cannot thank the commissioner and the NBA for the role that they’ve played. And I really just want to jump up and down (because) I’m really excited – so I’m trying to be a mayor right now if you don’t mind.
When I say we have the framework, the Maloofs have – you guys know the range was $70 to 90 million (in) some sort of commitment. They’ve stepped up to at tune of over $70 million. AEG stepped up for an additional amount of money. We were able to close the gap. There was also financial considerations that the Maloof family are doing that are beyond that are going to be really good for the community going forward.
I think when we left Sacramento (and) we came to Orlando, you guys asked me how close were we? I thought it was a free throw. You need to make two free throws. The city made the first free throw and the Maloof family made the second free throw. And it’s game over, so our community should be really, really excited.
*Applause breaks out*
You know, what I’d like to do at this time is just, I just want to thank Sacramento. We kept ourselves in the game. The efforts over the last year have been – the efforts that people have said couldn’t be done and we did it in a big way. And I think one of things the Maloofs and the NBA just appreciated us trying to be a model city when it comes to a small, mid-sized market and the efforts that we’ve done have been incredible.
And before I bring up the Maloofs, I just want to say to the Sacramento community – they’ve made a commitment to Sacramento since they’ve been managing partners of the franchise. They’ve been a part of the glory years in Sacramento. They’ve been part of the ups and downs. And they’ve said day one that they’ve always wanted to be in Sacramento. They are the ones who decided not to file for relocation last May. And had they filed, we wouldn’t be (this) position. But they said they were going to give us a year.
Our city, we met our benchmarks and obligations going forward and they said, “Look, we want to make a long-term commitment to Sacramento. That’s what we’re willing to do.” And I think our community is very appreciative of the loan payments they’ve made, of them stepping up with additional cash.
And they know that they have a chance to help revitalize the downtown area. They’ve been to arenas around the country. They’ve seen what a new arena will do in the downtown community and they want to be a part of that. They want to be a part of a new day and I think this is going to be part of their legacy for our community for many years to come. So the handshake agreements in place…
Sacramento Kings’ Co-owner Joe Maloof
It’s a great day for Sacramento, a great day for the Maloof family, great day for the NBA. I’d like to thank the mayor for all of his hard work and efforts throughout the years and of course the commissioner for all his support and everything he’s done for the NBA.
Our family is just so excited that we have a framework for a deal. We’ve always said that we want to stay in Sacramento. Now here’s our opportunity. So thank you very much to the fans, thank you to the city of Sacramento, the commissioner, of course thank you to the commissioner, and thank you mayor…
NBA Commissioner David Stern
I’ve had the great pleasure, tuxedo and all, of opening up two arenas and I’m looking forward to opening up a third in Sacramento. I want the Maloof family to get back to Sacramento fast because I’ve asked them to get those renewals out for next season. But from an NBA perspective, the owners from the board itself to the relocation committee to other committees have in effect authorized me to be as supportive as we could possibly be in this process, so that we could cement the future of the NBA in Sacramento.
And with the leadership of the mayor and the leadership of the Maloof family, I think this preliminary framework that we have here is gonna do just that. So, I wanna say thank you to everybody else, but also thank you to the NBA owners who have actually made this a priority and here we are. So thank you very much.
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