City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

February 25, 2012
'Constructive' Sacramento arena talks wrap up for today

ORLANDO, Fla. - Negotiations today between city officials and the National Basketball Association over the funding of a new sports arena were "constructive," the head of the mayor's arena task force said. Talks will continue Sunday.

Chris Lehane, who leads the Think Big task force, said the talks were "positive, we made progress on a number of items."

Lehane said the focus of the talks was on "whether (the Kings) are in a position to provide the level of support we deem necessary."

City officials have asked the Maloofs, who own the Kings, to contribute between $70 million and $90 million toward the project, according to a source briefed on the negotiations who was not authorized to speak because the talks are ongoing.

It is not clear how far apart - if at all - the Maloofs and the city are in terms of the Kings' contribution to the $387 million project. But sources expressed confidence that the sides were within a "solvable" distance.

The Maloofs have reportedly been asked to provide upfront lease payments to the arena, as well as provide an estimated $25 million in land they own around Power Balance Pavilion.

City officials are also asking that arena operator AEG contribute $50 million toward the project. AEG has not been involved the talks, Lehane said "we have full faith and confidence that the operator is in a position to meet its obligation."

"We know the city is ready to commit its piece, we know the operator is willing to commit its piece, ultimately this is about the Kings' piece," Lehane said.

NBA Commissioner David Stern is scheduled to address the media at 7 p.m. Eastern Time. Check back for updates.

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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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