City manager John Shirey told the Sacramento City Council on Tuesday that the NBA is now involved in "vetting" the to-be-proposed Kings arena deal centered on Downtown Plaza. Cowbell Kingdom's James Ham has the report:
"I want to let everybody know that we believe the talks are progressing well with the investor team (of Mark Mastrov and Ron Burkle)," Shirey told members of council. "I wanted to also let you know that we are also now discussing issues with the NBA. They are doing their own due diligence work, wanting to assure that our investor team and the city can deliver on a new arena downtown. So our discussions have broadened somewhat in the last few days."
This does not mean the NBA is favoring Sacramento. This is the NBA making sure that if the Board of Governors decides that to keep the Kings in Sacramento, the arena will actually get built. The same has happened in Seattle over the past six weeks. That's where David Stern gets his comments about the arena up there still not being set in stone due to pending litigation and an environmental review process.
The other news from Tuesday's meeting: the city hopes to release a detailed arena term sheet for public review on March 21. In eight days. This would give the public and the City Council five days to review the document before a prospective Council vote on March 26. It looks like there will be an event to discuss the plan; it is imperative that Kings fans are well-represented.