Sacramento City Council vote on revisited Kings arena deal shouldn't cause any problems

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

One of the items that will likely need to go back up for a vote is Sacramento's involvement in a potential Kings arena deal. There shouldn't be any problems at the City Council.

Back on March 6, 2012, the Sacramento City Council approved a plan to fund a portion of a new downtown arena that'd keep the Kings in the Capital City for at least a few more decades by a historic 7-2 vote. Then the Maloofs killed the deal because, you know, Maloofs be Maloofing.

Now that there's a chance that a Sacramento-based group could buy the Kings from the Maloofs, there's a strong likelihood that the City Council will have to revisit that decision and vote again. But fear not: chances are it would have little trouble passing.

The two votes against the arena deal in March were Sandy Sheedy and Kevin McCarty. Sheedy didn't run for re-election, and was replaced by Kevin Johnson ally Allen Warren. So one of the nays is now a likely aye. McCarty remains in office; note that his nay vote was a relatively surprise, and a change from the Maloofs to good, solvent owners could change his mind. (Potentially.)

Steve Hansen replaced Rob Fong on the council; Fong was a strong advocate of the arena deal, and Hansen, as an ally of KJ, is expected to be the same. There are a couple of councilmembers who voted with the majority last time but either aren't friendly to KJ or were on the fence about the arena project -- Bonnie Pannell and Darrell Fong. But the ayes could lose those two votes this time and still be clear. It'd take surprising defection, like Pannell, Fong, Warren and Hansen, to flip the script. That's almost assuredly not going to happen. (And frankly, I'm not sure McCarty, who is ambitious, wants to be part of a coalition that kills a viable arena plan. Voting against a measure that's obviously going to pass is a lot different in terms of optics than being the most notable voting member of the opposition.)

As for timing, I'd expect the Council to take up a plan sometime in March or very early April. While KJ is on the hook to come up with an ownership group by March 1, the city's real case isn't going to be made until April 18 or 19 in New York City. So that period between the finalization of the proposed ownership group and the presentation to the Board of Governors will be important to get ducks into rows, including the arena. (This is also why I think the Downtown Plaza plan probably isn't viable -- the turnaround is too tight.)

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