Perhaps it was the euphoria of the Kings' victory over the L.A. Lakers on Monday. Or maybe it's the holiday spirit. Either way, Mayor Kevin Johnson seems more and more confident about Sacramento's chances of building a new downtown sports arena.
Johnson told reporters this morning, "I think we're going to get it done." City officials are trying to finalize a financing plan for the latest proposal, a $406 million facility in the downtown railyard.
Still, the mayor said the city is "at a critical juncture."
City officials are in negotiations with the NBA, the Kings and arena operator AEG to provide funding for the deal. The City Council is contemplating leasing out downtown parking operations, a transaction estimated to be worth as much as $200 million toward the arena.
A council vote on a funding plan is expected in mid-February.
A big part of the mayor's optimism, it seems, is that basketball is once again being played in Sacramento. And for at least one night, it was good basketball.
"If there is basketball and the team is doing good, that can only help our efforts," said the mayor, who sat courtside during the Kings' 100-91 victory over the Lakers at Power Balance Pavilion.