Sacramento City Council authorizes staff to negotiate arena deal

Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday approved preliminary negotiations with potential investors looking to buy the Kings and build an arena downtown.

The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday authorized staff to negotiate an arena deal with the prospective whales Kevin Johnson has lured in. The vote was 7-2, with Darrell Fong and Kevin McCarty again voting against progress.

User fees are expected to be a primary source of funding, said assistant city manager John Dangberg. He also said assessments from businesses neighboring the new arena may go toward funding. Other principles the Council adopted: he existing Kings loan must be repaid or refinanced with strong collateral, the arena must be downtown, there must be a long-term lease and agreement to keep the Kings in Sacramento, parking income may be used but would need to be backfilled in the general fund and the city will own the arena if it funds the construction.

The next item that will come back to the City Council would be a preliminary term sheet, hopefully in April. The city plans to unveil a website with info on the project on Wednesday, which will include studies completed a year ago.

The most interesting item in the discussion came from McCarty, who revealed he had spoken to John Kehriotis, the minority owner of the Kings who is talking about privately funding a purchase and arena deal. He urged the city manager to reach out to Kehriotis. Frankly, it does not seem that KJ or anyone around him want to open that Pandora's box.

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