ORLANDO, Fla. - As negotiations get underway over how to fund a new downtown sports arena, the focus of today's talks is the contribution to the project by the Maloof family, which owns the Sacramento Kings. Those talks had been scheduled to end at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, but had extended past 4 p.m.
City officials have asked the Maloofs 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. The source indicated that all other major issues with the arena financing plan have been addressed.
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.
Involved in today's negotiations are City Manager John Shirey; Assistant City Manager John Dangberg; the city's arena consultant, Dan Barrett; Kunal Merchant, the chief of staff to Mayor Kevin Johnson; and attorney Paul Jacobs.
Executives with the NBA are also in attendance.
More informal talks are expected to continue throughout the day.
More intense talks are scheduled for tomorrow that are expected to involve the mayor and NBA Commissioner David Stern. Stern is scheduled to address the media tonight during his annual NBA All-Star Game press conference.