Arena: Mayor Kevin Johnson sets parameters for Friday’s New York meeting

On the eve of a meeting between the Maloof family and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, we have one last bit of communication to mull over.  Johnson has sent a shot across the bow of the Kings leaking ship.  You can read the letter in it’s entirety below and there is no mistaking the message – negotiations are over.

To the Members of the Maloof Family:

Earlier today I spoke briefly with Commissioner Stern.

On behalf of our City, I expressed our deep appreciation for the league’s commitment to Sacramento as reflected in the deal all parties agreed to in Orlando and the term sheet.

I understand that during today’s NBA Relocation Committee you and your team made a presentation.

During the discussion, it was suggested that a meeting with me tomorrow might be beneficial.

As has been my commitment throughout this process, I am always happy to meet in the spirit of open communication and partnership.

However, in advance of our conversation, I believe it important to make clear several key points:

First, all parties agreed to a deal in Orlando on February 27th, codified in the term sheet subsequently approved by our City Council. At the time, George Maloof explained the Maloof Family’s reason for agreeing to the deal, saying to the
Sacramento Bee that is it a “fair deal…worth taking.”

Any representation that a deal was not reached is simply not consistent with the perspective of every other party to the negotiation nor the actual statements of the family.

Second, throughout this process, we have worked closely with the NBA as a valued partner at your request, as documented by the following Kings’ public statements that the “NBA take the lead on this” while remaining “in very close contact with the league” and being “apprised of everything that’s going on.”

Third, and most critically, under no circumstances will the City make material adjustments to the current terms of the deal. Put simply, we have done our part.

We are 100% committed to moving forward under the framework laid out in the term sheet.

And there should be no expectation in tomorrow’s conversation that this deal is subject to further negotiation.

In light of these facts, the ball is in your court.

Our community stands ready to support the Kings and do our part to bring a state-of-the-art entertainment and sports complex to our downtown.

We look forward to the thousands of jobs, millions in new visitors, and billions in new revenues such a facility promises for our community.

We take you at your word that you are committed to Sacramento as you’ve said repeatedly in recent weeks.

The best – and only – way to demonstrate that commitment is to honor the “fair deal” as all other parties have done. Your handshake is your handshake. Your promise is your promise.

Given all that the people of Sacramento have endured and achieved on your behalf, we deserve nothing less than a partner who will work with the city in good faith and as a true partner.

Sincerely,
Kevin Johnson


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About: James Ham

James Ham provides coverage through news analysis and in-depth interviews with Kings players and staff. James is also one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary "Small Market, Big Heart". James graduated UC Davis with a degree in history and is happily married with two children.