City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

June 14, 2011
Potential Kings buyer on arena task force; Maloofs not worried

A few names stuck out from the regional arena task force named this week by Mayor Kevin Johnson.

One of those names was Darius Anderson, a well-known Sacramento developer and lobbyist working with Ron Burkle, the billionaire who has expressed interest in buying the Sacramento Kings. Anderson was named to the task force's executive committee, which will take on a major role as the group investigates potential funding mechanisms for the $387 million arena project.

Burkle and Anderson's overtures earlier this year were met with outright anger from the Maloof family, who own the Kings.

I asked the mayor on Monday to talk about his appointment of Anderson to the task force, given Anderson's recent history in the Kings saga.

Johnson said Anderson has been "committed to Sacramento for far longer than his involvement with Burkle." But that involvement apparently didn't hurt Anderson's chances of being named to the task force.

"We felt he would be a great asset moving forward because he was so involved in the earlier stages," the mayor told me.

Plus, the mayor said, Anderson understands the local political landscape and has land use experience.

Anderson told me he is "here to do whatever I can to help Sacramento and to help the Maloofs be successful."

"This isn't about anything other than keeping the team in Sacramento and I believe I can bring a lot to value to the overall effort," he said.

My colleague Dale Kasler wanted to know what the Maloofs thought of Anderson's involvement in the task force. George Maloof told Kasler he has never met Anderson.

When told that Anderson was on the task force, Maloof said his appointment "doesn't give me any thoughts or concerns."

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at


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