Virginia Beach mayor set to announce arena news

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2B
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 - 7:45 am

The saga of the Sacramento Kings and the city of Virginia Beach, Va., reaches a pivotal moment today.

Virginia Beach's mayor is expected to announce whether arena developer Comcast-Spectacor has met his deadline for striking a deal on a new building with the Kings as anchor tenants.

The deadline was Monday. Mayor Will Sessoms imposed the deadline because he says a deal must be in place before the city can petition the Virginia legislature for $150 million in subsidies. The legislative session begins Wednesday.

"I don't want to be wasting people's time or my time if we are not going to bring some conclusion to these negotiations quickly," the mayor said last week.

The team's owners, the Maloofs, haven't commented but it's been widely reported that they've been discussing a move to Virginia since August. The Kings threatened to move to Anaheim in 2011, and their status in Sacramento became uncertain once again after the Maloofs abandoned a tentative deal for a new downtown arena last spring.

As previously announced, the Virginia deal would be almost totally publicly financed, with $150 million from the state, $241 million from the city and $35 million from Comcast-Spectacor. The total package includes $346 million for the arena and $80 million in relocation assistance.

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