Johnson-Maloofs Sacramento arena talks to go another day

04/27/2012 12:00 AM

09/23/2013 8:09 AM

Mayor Kevin Johnson's last-ditch effort to salvage a downtown arena for the Sacramento Kings will last at least one more day.

Following a three-hour meeting at City Hall on Thursday with the team's owners, the Maloofs, the mayor announced the group will reconvene early today for another round of talks.

Johnson said he and the Maloofs agreed Thursday's meeting was "productive." But he refused to go into details, and the Kings' contingent left without speaking to reporters.

Today's meeting could lead to a deal, "the makings of the deal" or no agreement at all, Johnson said. The goal is to "resolve some issues and maybe narrow the gap of understanding around critical issues."

He said time is running out to meet the goal of opening a new building for the 2015-16 season.

"We only have a week or two," he said.

Thursday's meeting marked the first face-to-face talks since last Friday, when the mayor flew to Las Vegas unannounced to hold a clear-the-air meeting with co-owner George Maloof.

That followed a week of public rancor, with each side blaming the other for the collapse of the arena project April 13 at the NBA owners' meetings in New York.

The city has been insisting that the Maloofs honor the nonbinding "term sheet" hammered out in late February in Orlando, Fla., which laid out the basic foundation for financing a $391 million arena.

"We remain consistent on what we said and what we believe," Johnson said Thursday.

The Maloofs say there were several key deal points to which they never agreed in Orlando. Among other things, the Maloofs have refused to contribute $3.26 million toward "pre-development" activities.

In addition, they say they don't trust the financial projections provided by the NBA and would-be arena operator AEG. Those projections say the Kings would make at least $11 million in first-year profits, not counting millions in revenue-sharing from the league.

Johnson said Thursday's meeting provided greater clarity about the Maloofs' objections to the deal announced in Orlando.

"Our understanding was enhanced," he said.

The Maloofs may have backed off from their proposal, which surfaced two weeks ago, to renovate aging Power Balance Pavilion. The mayor has said the city wouldn't contribute financially to such a project.

"We as a city want a deal downtown," Johnson said. "They're saying they as a family and as a team want a deal downtown. The big question is, can what we came up with in Orlando in itself serve as a way to get a deal? That's what the discussion was."


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