City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

February 19, 2013
Sacramento City Council's symbolic 7-2 vote supports Kings, arena quest

By Ryan Lillis and Tony Bizjak

The Sacramento City Council approved a resolution Tuesday night throwing its support behind keeping the Kings in town and contributing resources toward a new downtown sports arena.

While symbolic, the 7-2 City Council vote to approve the resolution showed that the council is willing to get behind Mayor Kevin Johnson's quest to block the Kings' plan to move to Seattle.

What's more, it showed there is an appetite on the council for providing a city subsidy to a new arena seen as vital to Johnson's cause.

The resolution included the city's "continued commitment to enter into a public-private partnership to develop a new sports and entertainment facility for the region that meets NBA standards and represents a sound fiscal and economic development investment for the city's taxpayers."

Johnson has been working for weeks to recruit deep-pocketed investors to buy the Kings and partner with the city on an arena project.

The mayor plans to reveal that team by the end of the month and present it to the NBA as an alternative to the deal the team's owners have to sell the Kings to a Seattle group seeking to move the franchise to the Pacific Northwest.

The NBA's Board of Governors is expected to rule on the proposed Kings sale and relocation at its meeting in April.

So far, it is unclear what the city will be asked to contribute to the arena project. Johnson and other city officials have said that a plan to leverage an estimated $255 million from city parking operations is still on the table, and NBA Commissioner David Stern recently described the city's expected subsidy of a new arena as "significant."

City Manager John Shirey told the council Tuesday that city officials "have met with a potential investment group that would be interested in purchasing the Kings, keeping them here and investing in a new downtown arena."

While that investment team has not been revealed, Southern California grocery tycoon Ron Burkle and 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov are in serious discussions over combining on a bid.

If a Sacramento ownership group announces a plan to buy the team, city staff officials said they likely will ask the council in the coming weeks if it wants them to enter into talks with that group to determine how much the city would put into an arena financing deal. Later, the council would be expected to vote a second time on whether it approves any financing agreements involving city money or assets.

About Comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

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


Does the Kings' poor performance of late impact the arena work?

Ryan Lillis on Twitter

Follow "Ryan_Lillis" on Twitter

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Sacramento City Resources

City Web Sites

How to contact city officials