City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

March 20, 2012
AEG president: Sacramento 'is a good bet' on arena deal

The man who seeks to operate Sacramento's proposed sports arena was introduced today to the public.

Tim Leiweke, the president of international arena operator AEG, told reporters at City Hall that his firm is making "a huge commitment" to the project, but that he feels strongly "Sacramento is a good bet." AEG has committed $58.75 million in upfront costs to the $391 million project.

"We'll have one of the great arenas not just in the US, but in the world, and Sacramento will be a different community," he said.

AEG began talks with the Sacramento Kings today on a revenue sharing plan and other details of the arena. Leiweke said there was "a lot of work to be done" in those talks.

City officials are also meeting with AEG today at City Hall.

Leiweke first met Mayor Kevin Johnson more than a year ago in a meeting arranged by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The two remained in contact, with AEG eventually agreeing to sign on as the operator of Sacramento's arena.

"What we did is land one of the very best in the world to be one of our partners," the mayor said of AEG.

Leiweke said many in his industry have criticized his firm's commitment to Sacramento. But, he said, "it's the best market and the best fans I've seen anywhere in the NBA." He added that California is AEG's home state - the firm also built and runs Los Angeles' Staples Center - and "it's time that we put the state back to work."

Leiweke said he was confident the Sacramento arena would attract more events than what Power Balance Pavilion books each year, saying he thinks at least 150 events could appear at the facility each year.

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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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