Arena: Mayor Kevin Johnson on Maloofs – “We can’t be jerked around”

Mayor Johnson expressed indignation toward the Maloofs, who claimed last week they never agreed to pay for any pre-development costs toward the construction of the proposed downtown arena.  Below are a few quotes from the mayor today followed by audio of Johnson’s Q&A with Sacramento media after the jump.

Johnson on whether the NBA Board of Governors meetings in a few weeks are a deadline for the Maloofs to come up with the rest of their pre-development money:

In terms of that deadline, I was very clear. I talked to (the) commissioner a couple times this week and I told him that the New York meetings are critical for Sacramento. Because we can’t be in limbo – we can’t keep having the finish line moved on us. We all expected that we had an agreement, we thought we’d all be pushing in the same direction and there’s been countless tactics and antics that are just not becoming (of a) true partnership in my opinion. With that said, the commissioner said to me and insured me that the NBA governing board, the commissioner of the NBA, the relocation committee, the advisory financial committee – they all know what the facts are.

Johnson on whether a change of ownership comes back into the picture:

We’re not going to be a city that sits on its hands. And we’ve gotten this far because we stood up and we’ve taken a stand on what we believe in. So do we need to look at contingency plans? Absolutely. What those are at this point,  I’m not ready to share. But as I said, we don’t want to get caught flat footed. We need to make sure we’re protecting our community in all ways and we need to look at all of our options.

You can’t make public statements that say one thing and then privately be doing another. I don’t think that’s in the spirit of what we all thought and where we thought we’d be at this point.

Through their attorney, the Maloofs sent a letter to the city addressing concerns they have with the arena project.  You can read that letter in it’s full entirety here.

Council will vote on the pre-development agreement, which Johnson is confident the city will move forward with, and an environmental and site agreement at tonight’s meeting.

H/T to Rob McAllister


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About: Jonathan Santiago

Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.