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The Inescapable Paradox Of The Maloofs' Arena Stance

When George Maloof and his team of assassins made the family's case to kill the Sacramento arena deal and keep the Kings' future all but certain, there was a raging paradox at the forefront: they talked about how bad the deal would be for Sacramento ... and listed a string of desires, nearly all of which would have made the deal worse for Sacramento.

They based their case heavily on their lack of faith in the health of the Sacramento market while hammering on proposals that would have hurt Sacramento.

Below the jump, I break down the so-called 16 points of contention that the Maloofs relied on to kill the deal. See who'd they benefit.

The Bee published a list of 16 of issues the Maloofs felt were unresolved and still open for negotiation, despite the hard-fought victory of City Council approval on a term sheet settling all of this nonsense, and despite the comfort of the NBA and AEG in the deal.

Let's look at them.

* No collateral on the refinanced arena loan.
You know what you call a loan with no collateral? A gift. That an entity that just lost its core business, The Palms, because of debt it couldn't handle would push for a loan with no collateral? Insane ... and it certainly does the city the Maloofs are so concerned about any favors.

* Approval rights on designs and change orders.
This will be a common thread: the Maloofs want to assume power over a building they constantly remind us that they would only be tenants of. Giving the Maloofs more control would slow down the process by adding a layer of approvals and opening up more potential breakdowns in cooperation. Not good for the city.

* No pre-development fees.
The Maloofs are just a tenant, after all. Why should they help the city cover pre-dev fees? This is obviously bad for the city.

* No costs on change orders.
The Maloofs want the ability to mess with and approve the design ... but no responsibility to pay for any of it. makes sense. This is an item that, if approved, would be a negative for the city.

* Free use of Power Balance Pavilion for non-competitive purposes.
"Hey, if you're not using the poolhouse ... mind if we stay there for a few months?" The city has plans for the old arena, and one assumes it involves money going into city coffers. Bad for the city.

* Loosen relocation terms.
The Maloofs, who claim they could not be more committed to Sacramento, want the city to allow them to leave Sacramento before the lease is up. Bad for the city.

* Approval power over the city-AEG contract.
You've got to be kidding me. You are a tenant. You are not the city's father. Letting the Maloofs have a say in what deals the city cuts with its partner is not a positive. It's bad.

* Scheduling priority and free rent for Kings-related events.
Free rent for a tenant? What, like a punch card? Bad. Maybe it's fair, but it doesn't strength the deal for the city.

* Shorter lease.
Baaaaaaad. It would the city at greater risk.

* No gameday expenses.
Note: these are city expenses (police and fire coverage, for example) that the Maloofs currently pay, and that AEG would pay during non-Kings events at the arena. Bad for the city.

* Control over arena naming rights and signage.
We wouldn't want to pass up the opportunity to get a blue chip sponsor like Power Balance, after all! Baaad.

* More negotiations on uses of suites, clubs and restaurants.
Let's hold up the deal over important stuff like ... where Adrienne Maloof can stage scenes for Real Housewives of Orange County.

* Parking alternatives absent the premium lot.
Important stuff!

* No city taxes.
Increased tax revenue, including that from the arena, is a pretty major tenet of the city's rationale for building a new facility downtown. If the Maloofs' yes men think the deal is bad for the city now, wait until they get a load of the Maloofs' version!

* Office space at the arena.
Because there's no other place in downtown Sacramento for an office suite.

* Conditions of lease don't apply to new owner.
A bold demand by the Maloofs: let us sell the team to someone who can move the team whenever he wants. That makes a lot of sense for the city of Sacramento!


The Maloofs can talk until they are blue in the face about being committed to Sacramento. But on Friday, when they killed this deal dead, they presented a long line of bull pucky on why Sacramento shouldn't do this deal ... and not one bit was sincere. It was all the laziest, most embarrassing spin job this city has ever seen.