City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

August 20, 2013
Sacramento arena supporters want Hansen to not file petitions he financed

Sacramento's arena boosters want Chris Hansen to do more than apologize for financing an effort to derail the project. They want him to shred the signatures his money funded that could send the arena plan to the June 2014 ballot.

In a letter sent Monday, members of the campaign asked Hansen to "not allow these petitions" to be used in the arena vote effort. The letter can be found here: HansenLetter.pdf

Hansen, who tried to buy the Kings this spring and move them to Seattle, was revealed last week as the secret financier of a campaign to collect signatures for a ballot measure that would require voter approval of sports facility subsidies in the city. He made a $100,000 contribution to the campaign on June 21 through Los Angeles law firm Loeb & Loeb, campaign finance records show.

August 15, 2013
FPPC files lawsuit seeking identity of Sacramento arena vote funders

The state's political watchdog is filing a lawsuit today in Sacramento Superior Court seeking the identity of the funders behind a campaign to force a vote on the city's arena subsidy.

The Fair Political Practices Commission plans to file the injunction this afternoon against Los Angeles law firm Loeb & Loeb, charging the firm has "failed and refused" to report the source of the money.

Loeb & Loeb paid Tulare-based political consultant Olson Campaigns $80,000 on June 21 to pay for signature gatherers collecting petitions for a proposed ballot measure that would require voter approval of subsidies for sports facilities in the city, according to a the FPPC complaint.

August 14, 2013
Sacramento arena vote campaign says it's more than halfway to signature goal

The campaign seeking a public vote on the city's arena subsidy said this morning it has collected more than half the signatures it needs for the proposed June ballot measure.

Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork (STOP) also said it will continue in its effort using only volunteers as it pushes to collected 22,000 valid signatures from city voters by mid-December. STOP also sought to separate itself from the paid signature effort that has come under scrutiny amid an inquiry into who was funding that side of the campaign, describing itself in a press release as "a fiercely independent, grass-roots organization."

Still, the signatures that STOP is counting toward its goal include those collected by paid signature gatherers, said John Hyde, a spokesman for the group. Those signatures were funded through an $80,000 payment to a political consultant by Loeb & Loeb, the law firm that represented the Maloofs when the family struck a deal to sell the Sacramento Kings to a group in Seattle.

August 13, 2013
FPPC still reviewing - not investigating - arena signature money

The state's political watchdog is still in the process of reviewing allegations that the funding for a signature drive seeking to derail the city's arena plan was not properly reported. However, the Fair Political Practices Commission has not yet launched a formal investigation, as a pro-arena campaign group announced in a press release today.

Gary Winuk, chief of the FPPC's enforcement division, said only that the commission is reviewing the case and that no decision has been made on whether a formal investigation has opened yet.

"We can, however, gather information and request compliance during our review period," Winuk said. Winuk previously said that the FPPC would review the case for about two weeks before a decision on whether to investigate would be made.

August 12, 2013
Kings pay city $1.4 million owed from 1997 loan agreement

The new Kings ownership made good on a debt last week that was 16 years in the making.

City officials announced Friday they had received $1.4 million in deferred development fees from the team that stems from the 1997 loan the Kings took out with the city. Those fees were originally due last August and will be earmarked for public projects in North Natomas.

Assistant City Manager John Dangberg said the Maloof family, who sold the Kings in May to a group led by Silicon Valley software executive Vivek Ranadive, had inquired last year about paying the fees back over a 10-year period. The fees were then included as part of the sale agreement the Maloofs had to sell the Kings to a group in Seattle.

August 8, 2013
Kings ask for city's help to buy key Downtown Plaza site

The new Sacramento Kings ownership group has been unable to buy a parcel at Downtown Plaza seen as vital to the development of a new arena. Now, the group has asked City Hall for assistance, with the threat of eminent domain looming as a potential negotiating tactic.

The City Council on Tuesday will be asked to allow staffers to help in the Kings' negotiations to buy the Macy's men's store from a New York-based real estate firm. Under the agreement, the Kings will reimburse the city for all costs incurred through those negotiations, including the property purchase and legal fees.

While describing the tactic as a last resort not yet needed, city officials said they could eventually exercise eminent domain to acquire the property at 600 K St. That step would require City Council approval.

July 30, 2013
Turner Construction selected to build new Sacramento arena

The Sacramento Kings ownership group has hired Turner Construction to build the planned arena at Downtown Plaza, the team announced today.

Turner Construction is the firm building Levi's Stadium, the new facility for the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara. Turner also built the new Terminal B at Sacramento International Airport.

Kings president Chris Granger, who began his duties in Sacramento on Monday, said Turner is "the best in the business."

July 29, 2013
Sacramento arena vote campaign escalates with robocalls

The campaign over whether to hold a public vote on the city's arena financing plan continued to escalate over the weekend.

In a tactic not normally seen in off-election periods, a coalition of Kings fans, building industry groups and labor organizations trying to avoid a vote on the arena made a robocall to city voters on Sunday. The call can be heard here.

Joshua Wood, the head of Region Builders, a building coalition that has spearheaded the anti-vote campaign, said the call went to more than 56,000 voters. He said the call was paid for by the groups that are funding the campaign, a full list of whom can be found here.

July 26, 2013
Arena vote campaign: opposition made up press release quote

Another day, another turn in the increasingly tense campaign to seek a public vote on the city's arena subsidy.

This time, it's the pro-vote campaign that's lobbing charges that the other side is misleading voters. Representatives with Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhoods and Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork (STOP) today publicized a draft press release from the anti-vote side that shows a quote attributed to "CITIZEN TO BE NAMED."

Later versions of the press released, issued by pro-arena groups Region Builders and Crown Downtown, attach the quote to a Sacramento resident named Linda Cano. The early version of the release can be found here: DowntownArenarelease.pdf

July 23, 2013
Video: Sacramento arena vote campaign worker misleads

A group trying to block an effort to place the city's arena financing subsidy before the voters released a video this week that shows a campaign worker making misleading statements as she tries to collect signatures for the initiative.

The video - posted on - shows the signature gatherer tell a man carrying a camera that the city is raising taxes to come up with its subsidy for the arena at the Downtown Plaza. A tax hike is not part of the city's plan.

That campaign worker is part of a group seeking to gather enough signatures to place the arena subsidy on the June 2014 ballot. Two affiliated groups are involved in that effort: STOP, a Sacramento-based committee, and Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhoods, a political action committee based in Orange County.

July 15, 2013
Group now aiming for Sacramento arena vote in June 2014

The group trying to force a public vote on the city's plan to subsidize a new Kings arena downtown has given up on the idea of holding a special election this year and will instead aim for the June 2014 ballot.

Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork (STOP) said Monday that efforts to collect signatures from city residents who want the public vote is going well, but that the group was unable to gather enough signatures before today's deadline to force a special election.

Instead, the group now has until Dec. 16 to file 22,000 signatures from registered city voters.

July 10, 2013
Sacramento Kings hire top NBA executive as new president

A high-ranking marketing and business executive with the NBA has been named the new president of the Sacramento Kings.

Chris Granger, an NBA executive for 14 years, will oversee the team's role in the development of a new downtown sports arena and its business operations.

He'll report to Kings principal owner Vivek Ranadive and oversee the franchise's executive team, including president of business operations Matina Kolokotronis and chief financial officer John Rinehart. General Manager Pete D'Alessandro will oversee player personnel issues.

May 22, 2013
Seven new Kings owners, former players Webber, Richmond to attend rally

The lineup is set for Thursday's fan rally to celebrate the Kings' future in Sacramento.

Seven members of the new ownership group - including managing partner Vivek Ranadive - are scheduled to attend the free event, which runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at downtown's Cesar Chavez Plaza. Ranadive will be joined by partners Paul Jacobs, Raj Bhathal, Mark Mastrov, Mark Friedman, Andrew Miller and Chris Kelly at the rally.

Are you going to the rally? Look for our Snapshots photographer. See all of our Snapshots galleries.

Kings legends Mitch Richmond and Chris Webber will attend, along with current Kings Tyreke Evans and Isaiah Thomas. Former players Scot Pollard and Bobby Jackson are also slated to make appearances.

May 20, 2013
Ranadive to attend Kings fan rally; event moved to Thursday

Vivek Ranadive is scheduled to make his first public appearance as the newly-approved owner of the Sacramento Kings at a fan rally Thursday at downtown's Cesar Chavez Plaza.

The event - dubbed the Long Live the Kings Rally - was originally planned for Wednesday. It is scheduled to run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Mayor Kevin Johnson is also slated to attend the rally, along with Kings mascot Slamson and the Kings dancers. Johnson had announced that homegrown rock band Cake would attend the Wednesday rally, but that announcement appeared to be premature.

May 15, 2013
Kings to stay in Sacramento

By Dale Kasler, Ryan Lillis and Tony Bizjak

DALLAS - The NBA Board of Governors voted 22-8 to keep the Kings in Sacramento, League Commissioner David Stern has announced.

While the proposed move by the team to Seattle was turned down, the issue of who will own the team has not been settled.

"We will talk to the Maloofs and seek in the next 24 to 48 hours whether we can help facilities a deal between the Ranadive group and the Maloofs for the sale of the franchise in Sacramento," Stern said of the Kings owners.

READ THE FULL STORY: NBA Board of Governors denies relocation bid to move Kings to Seattle

May 7, 2013
Mayor to Seattle's Hansen: 'Take the high road' and back off

Mayor Kevin Johnson is so confident that the Kings are staying put, he's got some advice for the guys trying to buy the team and move it to Seattle: back off.

While saying he understands why they are fighting, the mayor said today that hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer should "take the high road and be gracious." Hansen and Ballmer have said they are still exploring their options after the NBA's relocation committee recommended by a 7-0 vote against their plan to move the Kings to the Emerald City.

"Once the relocation committee spoke as loud and as clear as it did, I would probably take a step back and understand that I'm probably not going to get this team, so how can I put Seattle in the best possible position to get a team moving forward?" the mayor said.

April 30, 2013
Live chat replay: Next steps in Sacramento's fight to keep NBA Kings

April 29, 2013
Chat live: NBA Kings waiting game: Seattle vs Sacramento

April 5, 2013
Watchdogs criticize 'Public Sector Suite' in Kings arena plan

A local watchdog group is criticizing Sacramento for including a "Public Sector Suite" at the arena being planned for Downtown Plaza.

That suite was included in the 18-page "term sheet" approved by the City Council that lays out the financing for the $448 million facility.

According to the term sheet, the city "shall have an option to use one complimentary, furnished luxury suite at the" arena "including tickets and preferred parking to all (arena) events included as part of a typical license agreement." The suite could be used "for any official city purpose."

April 4, 2013
Mayor Johnson, Sen. Steinberg arrive home after Kings pitch

Mayor Kevin Johnson and state Senate President Darrell Steinberg arrived home today following their presentation to a panel of key NBA owners in New York, during which they made their case for keeping the Kings in Sacramento.

The pair was greeted by a cheering crowd of about 15 Kings fans in Terminal A of Sacramento International Airport. They quickly departed the airport to begin the final two-week push to convince the league to keep the team here and reject a deal the Kings' owners have to sell the franchise to a group in Seattle.

Johnson said "we don't really know yet" what will be asked of the Sacramento contingent by NBA officials over the next two weeks. NBA Commissioner David Stern said Wednesday the league needed time to investigate arena plans and team purchase offers in both Seattle and Sacramento before making a decision over the fate of the Kings.

April 2, 2013
Sacramento delegation to rally in NYC before pitch is made for Kings

The Sacramento delegation sent to New York to make a pitch for the Kings will begin its campaign this afternoon with a rally in the Big Apple.

The group has planned a party at the Public House on East 41st Street. Among those in attendance will be City Councilman Allen Warren; prospective local Kings investors Phil Oates and Kevin Nagle; Mike Tavares, a leader of the Crown Downtown fan club; and Kings fans who live in New York.

The rally is also scheduled to coincide with the arrival in New York by local radio personality Carmichael Dave, who has spent the past two weeks travelling the country in an RV promoting Sacramento as the home of the Kings.

March 22, 2013
Conceptual drawings of new Kings arena released by city

arena concept.pngThe city still hasn't nailed down a plan to finance the project, but today it released what it is calling a conceptual drawing showing a new Kings arena at the Downtown Plaza site.

The drawing, by architectural firm AECOM, show the arena facing L Street between 5th and 6th streets.

It also shows a line of new towers along J Street along the northern border of what is now the mall and a tree-lined pedestrian walkway area on K Street on the western edge of the plaza.

As of 3 p.m. today, city officials had not come to an agreement with billionaire Ron Burkle over the financing of the arena. City Manager John Shirey is still aiming to have the financing term sheet completed in time for the City Council to vote on the plan Tuesday night.

March 22, 2013
Sacramento arena talks continue, but no deal yet

City officials remain in negotiations with the investors trying to build a new arena at the site of the Downtown Plaza, but have still not reached an agreement on the project's financing terms.

Amy Williams, a city spokeswoman, said at noon today that the talks were ongoing but that no deal had been reached. City Manager John Shirey had initially said he wanted an arena "term sheet" to be finished by Thursday in time to post it on the agenda for Tuesday's City Council meeting.

Shirey still wants the arena plan to be voted on by the council on Tuesday.

March 21, 2013
City Manager still confident arena financing plan will come together

Despite missing his self-imposed deadline to reach a deal for an arena financing plan, City Manager John Shirey said today he remains optimistic an agreement will be reached.

Shirey said top city negotiators and representatives of billionaire Ron Burkle were still talking this afternoon about the financing of an arena at Downtown Plaza and that those talks were expected to continue. He said the sides have not reached an impasse.

Shirey would not say what sticking points remain between the sides.

March 20, 2013
City still in arena talks, expects deal to be released Thursday

City officials said late today that they expect the details of an arena financing plan to be made public Thursday.

"There is nothing new to report," City Manager John Shirey said in an emailed statement. "We have been in discussions all day with the Investors, and those discussions will continue. We anticipate that the Term Sheet will be made public (Thursday) afternoon."

Shirey wants the arena financing plan to be included in the agenda for Tuesday's City Council meeting, giving the council and the public five days to examine the plan before a council vote on the proposal. The city has scheduled a 5:30 p.m. public forum Thursday at City Hall to discuss the plan.

March 20, 2013
Fundraising drive sending nearly 500 kids, volunteers to Kings game

For the second time, a Kings fan group raised enough in donations to send hundreds of kids and volunteers from local schools and community centers to a game.

Here We Stay says it raised $8,400 to buy 480 tickets for Sunday's game against Philadelphia, which has been dubbed "Here We Buy Night 2." The tickets will be distributed by the COS Foundation, 3fold Communications and the Northeastern California and Northern Nevada Make-A-Wish foundation.

The group ran a similar campaign last month. Between the two fundraising drives, Here We Stay raised $17,802 - enough to purchase 1,106 tickets.

The fundraising drive is part of a fan movement to show the NBA that Sacramento is a supportive market for the league. According to a news release from Here We Stay, Sunday's game will include a tailgate party, organized fan chants and "a recording of a Harlem Shake video."

March 18, 2013
Carmichael Dave launches US tour to keep Kings in Sacramento

As the city enters the stretch run in its quest to keep the Kings, one of the team's biggest fans is hitting the road to promote the cause.

Radio personality Carmichael Dave (Dave Weiglein) will take off from Sacramento following Tuesday night's City Council meeting in a purple RV. He'll be joined by a film crew chronicling his journey and is planning to hit between 15 and 20 cities, scheduling appearances with local media as he talks up Sacramento's value as an NBA city.

The "Playing to Win Tour" will hit New York on April 3, the day contingents from Sacramento and Seattle are scheduled to make their pitches to the NBA for the Kings. A group from Seattle has an agreement in place to buy the team, but that deal requires the approval of the league.

March 15, 2013
Sacramento plans three public forums to discuss arena plan

Responding to calls from the public and City Council for a more open discussion about the details of an arena financing plan, the city has now scheduled three forums next week to discuss the proposal.

The city is still negotiating the plan for an arena at Downtown Plaza with billionaire Ron Burkle and does not expect to release the details until Thursday.

The first forum is scheduled to be held that evening, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at City Hall, 915 I St. Another forum is slated for a week from today from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Robertson Center, 3525 Norwood Ave. The third forum is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on March 23 at the Pannell Center, 2450 Meadowview Rd.

March 12, 2013
Sacramento city manager: Talks on arena financing plan going well

Sacramento City Manager John Shirey told the City Council tonight that "talks are progressing well" between city negotiators and the investors seeking to build a new sports arena at the Downtown Plaza.

Top city officials are in intense talks with billionaire Ron Burkle over the financing of a new arena. That facility would house the Kings should the NBA reject a deal the team's owners have to sell the franchise to a group in Seattle.

Shirey said he remains on track to deliver a financing term sheet to the council in time for a vote March 26. He said he is hopeful that term sheet will be made available to the council and public March 21.

March 11, 2013
Seattle takes page from Sacramento playbook on PR campaign for Kings

Seattle is revving up its own public campaign to show its strength as an NBA market.

Chris Hansen, the hedge-fund manager who has a deal to buy the Kings and move them to Seattle, announced on his website today that he'll launch a "priority ticket waitlist" Thursday for fans who want seats in that city's new basketball arena. He wrote on the site that the pledge drive is "a critical step in demonstrating to the NBA and basketball fans around the country the unbelievable passion that exists in the Emerald City to BRING BACK OUR SONICS!"

Sacramento launched its own season ticket pledge drive in January in an attempt to show the NBA a robust level of support for basketball exists here. As of 5:30 p.m. today, 5,561 fans had pledged to buy season tickets for a new arena in downtown Sacramento - including 14 in the first half-hour after Hansen made his announcement.

March 11, 2013
City seeks feedback from public on Downtown Plaza arena plan

Think a new arena at the Downtown Plaza should have a giant cowbell statue out front? Have a favorite restaurant you'd like to see nearby? Think the whole idea is just plain lousy?

Tell the city.

City Hall is seeking input on the proposal to build a new sports arena at the lagging Downtown Plaza through its Envision Sacramento website. The survey can be found here.

March 11, 2013
Former Sacramento Monarchs to attend Thursday event promoting pro hoops in city

Mayor Kevin Johnson's pro basketball efforts aren't all about the Kings.

On Thursday, the mayor's Think Big task force will hold an event with two former Sacramento Monarchs stars promoting the region as a viable WNBA market.

A group led by 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov has filed a bid to buy the Kings and block the franchise's planned move to Seattle. But Johnson also announced during his State of the City address last month that the group is interested in bringing the WNBA's Monarchs back to Sacramento. The Monarchs folded in 2009.

March 7, 2013
Former Sacramento King Richmond greets fans as campaign to keep team rolls on

The public relations campaign to keep the Kings in town continued today with a blast from the franchise's past.

Former Kings star Mitch Richmond greeted a few dozen fans at midtown's Firestone Public House, signing posters and hats. Richmond has pledged $1 million to be part of a local ownership contingent seeking to block the Kings' move to Seattle.

"It would be a sad day if the Kings leave this community," Richmond said. "I know Seattle is a good place, I think Seattle's team (the Sonics) should have never left. But we want our team here."

March 5, 2013
Sacramento city manager wants council vote on arena deal March 26

Sacramento City Manager John Shirey said tonight that he intends to bring a financing term sheet for a new downtown sports arena to the City Council for a vote at the council's March 26 meeting.

Shirey had previously said he wanted that council vote to take place April 2, but said tonight that "was cutting it close" for the NBA's Board of Governors meeting just more than two weeks later. The league will decide during that April 18 and 19 session whether to approve the Kings' sale to a group in Seattle seeking to move the franchise to the Pacific Northwest.

The city manager said he expects negotiations to begin next week with billionaire Ron Burkle and 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov over the arena financing plan. He said he and other top city officials, along with a team of consultants, has spent the past two days preparing for those talks.

February 26, 2013
Sacramento council approves arena financing negotiations

For the first time in the latest effort to keep the Kings, the Sacramento City Council has opened its checkbook and dispatched top city officials to enter into formal negotiations over the financing of a new downtown sports arena.

The council voted 7-2 on Tuesday night to grant its approval of City Manager John Shirey's request to negotiate the terms of a new arena plan that is seen as a key element of the city's work to block a Kings move to Seattle. In doing so, the council allowed Shirey to spend $150,000 on attorneys and arena financing consultants.

While city officials have declined to name the investors they plan to negotiate with, it is widely known that Mayor Kevin Johnson is recruiting 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov and Southern California billionaire Ron Burkle to make a bid for the Kings. That bid would be presented to the NBA as a competing offer to the deal the Kings owners have to sell the franchise to a group seeking to move the team to Seattle. The NBA's Board of Governors will rule on the Seattle bid at its mid-April meeting.

February 26, 2013
Sacramento Councilman Fong explains no vote on arena

Darrell Fong, one of two councilman to vote against a symbolic resolution last week expressing support for a city contribution to a new arena to keep the Kings here, explained his vote for the first time late Monday in a letter to constituents.

The first-term councilman said he was wary of supporting the resolution "due to the continued lack of information being provided to the Council."

"I cannot in good conscience vote to endorse a resolution or proposal without knowing exactly what I am being asked to support," he wrote. "That is like writing a blank check."

February 25, 2013
Council will be asked to spend $150,000 toward arena effort

By Ryan Lillis, Tony Bizjak and Dale Kasler

The Sacramento City Council will be asked to spend $150,000 on Tuesday to support the city's negotiations with an investment team interested in buying the Kings and partnering with the city on the financing of a new arena.

In a city staff report released this afternoon, Assistant City Manager John Dangberg told the council that $90,000 of that money would go to Barrett Sports Group, which served as an arena consultant to the city during last year's failed arena quest. Another $50,000 would be spent on "transaction counsel" and $10,000 placed into a contingency fund.

City officials are seeking the council's approval to enter in formal negotiations with a still unnamed investment team on the arena plan. While city officials have declined to name those investors, sources have for weeks said Southern California billionaire Ron Burkle and 24-Hour Fitness Mark Mastrov are in serious talks over partnering on a bid.

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.

February 12, 2013
Mayor Johnson says he's 'very close' to unveiling plan to keep Kings

As he prepares to head to Houston this weekend to lobby the NBA's team owners to keep pro basketball in Sacramento, Mayor Kevin Johnson said he is getting "very close" to revealing the deep-pocketed investors he has recruited to make a pitch to buy the franchise.

Those investors - along with a plan for a new downtown arena - would be the foundation of Johnson's argument to the NBA to block a deal the Kings' owners have to sell the franchise to a group that would move the team to Seattle in time for the 2013/14 season.

Johnson said he is working against a March 1 deadline to secure those investors and an arena plan. That date is the deadline for a team to file for relocation, which the Kings did last week.

February 8, 2013
Fan groups seek to sell out Saturday's Kings game

Seeking to send to the NBA a message that Sacramento supports the Kings, fan groups are working to sell out Saturday's home game.

The game - dubbed "Here We Buy Night" by fan groups - comes at a pivotal moment in the city's fight to keep the Kings. A group in Seattle has reached a binding agreement to buy the team and has filed a request with the NBA to relocate the franchise to the Pacific Northwest for the 2013-14 season.

Part of the fan effort was a fundraising drive that took in enough donations to buy 626 tickets for local kids and their families. The effort raised $9,402 and was coordinated by the Here We Stay fan group, former King Donte Greene's COS Foundation, 3Fold Communications and the Center for Fathers and Families.

February 5, 2013
Kings investors still not revealed, but mayor remains confident

Mayor Kevin Johnson still isn't ready to reveal the identities of the rich investors he's assembled to make a bid to buy the Kings. And despite going past his self-imposed time frame for that announcement, he doesn't sound too worried.

Johnson told reporters today the investors are "doing their due diligence and working very hard" to come to terms on a bid for the Kings. An announcement could come later this week or next week.

The mayor plans to package that bid with an arena plan as a counter-pitch to the deal the franchise's owners have made to sell the Kings to a group in Seattle. Johnson wants that plan solidified by the end of the month at the latest. The NBA will ultimately decide whether to support Johnson's proposal or approve the Seattle deal.

January 31, 2013
City Hall analyzing potential arena at Downtown Plaza

In another indication of how seriously City Hall is taking the prospect of an arena at Downtown Plaza, City Manager John Shirey's office has launched a feasibility analysis of the site.

That analysis will examine the different locations at the Downtown Plaza site where an arena could fit, an arena's impact on utilities and the transportation infrastructure near the site. JMA Ventures, the firm that bought the mall last year, conducted its own feasibility study of placing an arena at the mall.

Billionaire Ron Burkle - who along with 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov is discussing a bid to buy the Sacramento Kings - has advocated directly to NBA Commissioner David Stern for building an arena at Downtown Plaza.

January 28, 2013
Fitness magnate Mastrov meets with local Kings investors

In an indication of how seriously he is considering buying the Kings, 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov was in Sacramento this morning meeting with the local business leaders who have committed $1 million each toward purchasing the team.

Mastrov, who reportedly made an unsuccessful bid of $350 million to buy the Golden State Warriors in 2010, is in serious discussions with billionaire Ron Burkle on teaming up on a bid to purchase the Kings and keep them in Sacramento. The pair has also discussed partnering on a plan to help build a new downtown sports arena, most likely at the site of the Downtown Plaza, sources have told The Bee.

Burkle met with Mayor Kevin Johnson last week and was in New York on Thursday, when he met with NBA Commissioner David Stern. During that meeting with Stern, Burkle expressed his interest in buying the Kings and advocated for building an arena at the Downtown Plaza site - not the downtown railyard, which had been the preferred site of city officials.

January 23, 2013
Mayor doesn't reveal 'whale,' but says talks with potential Kings ownership group moving quickly

Mayor Kevin Johnson isn't quite ready to reveal the identity of the whales.

Johnson told reporters this afternoon that he had "made considerable progress with discussions with major ownership groups" that would make a pitch to buy the Sacramento Kings and block a deal that would move the team to Seattle. The mayor has referred to those deep-pocketed investors as "whales."

A source told The Bee on Tuesday that billionaire grocery tycoon Ron Burkle and 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov are in serious discussions to partner on a bid for the Kings and align themselves with the city of Sacramento on a plan to help finance a new downtown sports arena.

January 22, 2013
Billionaire Burkle, fitness tycoon Mastrov discussing Kings purchase

Billionaire Ron Burkle and Bay Area investor Mark Mastrov are in serious discussions to team up on a bid to buy the Sacramento Kings and partner with the city of Sacramento on a plan to help finance a new downtown sports arena, The Bee has learned.

A source familiar with the negotiations told The Bee that Burkle and Mastrov are both committed to keeping the team in Sacramento and building the Kings into a contender. The teaming of Burkle and Mastrov is seen by city officials as a "dream team" counter offer to the group that this week agreed to buy the Kings and move the franchise to Seattle, the source said.

Burkle, who owns the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, has been mentioned by both Mayor Kevin Johnson and NBA Commissioner David Stern as a potential suitor of the Kings. Mastrov, the founder of the 24 Hour Fitness chain, made an unsuccessful bid to buy the Golden State Warriors in 2010 and until now had been the only person to publicly express interest in buying the Kings and keeping them here.

January 22, 2013
List: Investors to give $1 million each to buy Sacramento Kings

The list of 20 local Sacramento Kings investors unveiled by Mayor Kevin Johnson at City Hall. Each has agreed to contribute $1 million.

Dr. Nate Allen, surgeon at Mercy and Sutter

Steve Ayers, principal of Elks Tower and Rail Bridge Cellars Winery

Dale Carlsen and Katy Carlsen, chief executive of Sleep Train Mattress Centers, the current arena naming rights sponsor; and area pediatrician

Dorene Dominguez, chair of Vanir Group construction and development company

Michael and Ken Fahn, real estate investors and concert promoters

Brad Jenkins, president of 01 Communications telecommunications

Larry Kelley, developer and former minority owner in the Kings in the 1990s

Rob Miller, chief executive of PeopleFinders online business

Kevin Nagle, co-owner of Town Center in El Dorado Hills

Phil Oates, chairman of commercial real estate firm Buzz Oates Group of Cos.

Mark Otero, video game entrepreneur and co-founder of KlickNation

Scott Powell, president of Sacramento Jet Center general aviation business

Dr. Aaron Reeves, dentist with Kid's Care Dental

John Stone, tech entrepreneur in El Dorado Hills

David Taylor, Sacramento developer who worked on arena plan that collapsed in April

Angelo K. Tsakopoulos and his son Kyriakos Tsakopoulos, major land developers in Sacramento

Ali Youssefi, vice president at CFY Development Inc., developer of apartment buildings

• Two anonymous investors

Source: Mayor's office

January 22, 2013
Mayor assembles 19 local business leaders in pitch to buy the Kings

Mayor Kevin Johnson this afternoon said he had assembled 19 local business leaders who have each committed $1 million toward purchasing the Kings and keeping the team in Sacramento.

Photo gallery: Johnson's press conference

The group - which includes some of the region's best-known developers and business owners - would partner with at least one deep-pocketed investor to make a counter offer to the deal made by a group seeking to move the Kings to Seattle. Johnson said he is hopeful he will be able to unveil the identity of the ultra-wealthy investor or investors - whom he called "the whales" - by the end of this week.

"We're making progress on the whales," he said.

But Johnson said he wanted to introduce the local investors first, even though their stake will not be nearly enough to buy a team.

"These are folks who realize that the Kings are a civic asset for our community," the mayor said during a boisterous press conference at City Hall, flanked by more than a dozen of those business leaders, throngs of cheering Kings fans and most of the City Council.

January 22, 2013
Mayor to reveal local faces of proposed Kings ownership team

kings_presser_oneA.jpgThe local faces of Mayor Kevin Johnson's pitch to keep the Sacramento Kings in town are expected to be unveiled today.

Johnson will reveal the names of more than 10 local business leaders seeking to be part of a new ownership group for the Kings. Those local owners would partner with a deep-pocketed investor when Johnson presents the team to the NBA as a counter-offer to the Seattle group that has agreed to buy the Kings.

Among the group of local investors seeking to buy a part of the team are developers David Taylor and Phil Oates.

January 17, 2013
NBA Commissioner Stern: Still no Seattle-Kings deal

There's still no deal in Seattle to move the Sacramento Kings to the Pacific Northwest, NBA Commissioner David Stern told reporters this morning.

Speaking in London, where the New York Knicks will play the Detroit Pistons today, Stern said "there's been lots of speculation" regarding the possible sale of the Kings to hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen in Seattle.

"The one thing we do know is no purchase and sale agreement has been submitted to (the league)," Stern said.

January 16, 2013
New lawsuit seeks to block Seattle arena plan

A new lawsuit has been filed in Seattle attempting to block construction of an arena that could house the now-Sacramento Kings.

Citing a 2006 voter-approved initiative that requires the city of Seattle to profit from public investments in sports facilities, the lawsuit seeks to block a $200 million city and county subsidy of a planned arena. Hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen is working with Seattle and King County to build the $490 million facility, and Hansen is also in talks to purchase the Kings and move them to the Pacific Northwest.

According to a report in this morning's Seattle Times, the lawsuit charges that the arena plan fails to satisfy Initiative 91 because the funds planned to repay the public investment "represent unsecured future cash revenue or interest repayment that is not allowed under the initiative."

January 15, 2013
Mayor Johnson aims to make counter offer for Kings directly to NBA

With a Seattle group working to acquire the Kings, Mayor Kevin Johnson said this morning that he has received approval from NBA Commissioner David Stern to present a counter offer for the Kings directly to the NBA's board of governors.

Calling a reported $525 million offer for the team that's being floated by a Seattle group "outrageous," the mayor said during the annual State of Downtown address that he has developed a strategy to keep the Kings in Sacramento.

Johnson said he is looking for potential owners who would keep the team in Sacramento to bid against the Seattle offer led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen. A new arena "must be part of the transaction" and the ownership group must include local partners, Johnson said.

January 13, 2013
Fan efforts organizing in attempt to keep Sacramento Kings here

Sacramento Kings fans are stepping up their efforts to save their team.

Led by local radio personality Carmichael Dave - whose real name is Dave Weiglein - some of the fans who have worked the past two years to keep the team in town launched a website this morning asking for other fans to pledge to buy season ticket packages should new local owners for the franchise emerge. The movement, Dave said, is aimed at "proving that this market is not only viable, it is rabid and really has been jerked around by the current ownership situation."

Fans can go to to pledge season ticket purchases. If a new ownership group keeps the team in town and builds a new arena, that list will be given to the Kings' sales staff.

December 31, 2012
Kings drama, credit card scandal dominated Sacramento City Hall in 2012

The credit card scandal that struck City Hall - and has one of Mayor Kevin Johnson's former aides facing criminal charges - was the big story of the year on City Beat. The Kings, and the city's quest to build the team a new arena, was the other.

Here's the top 5 most viewed stories on the blog in 2012:

5. Record request another sign of strained Kings/city relationship, April 5

November 14, 2012
Sacramento denied bid for NCAA basketball tournament games

Once again, Sacramento has been passed over by the NCAA.

The city and Sleep Train Arena are not on the list of venues hosting NCAA men's basketball tournament games in 2014 or 2015. That list was released earlier this week.

Sacramento sports officials were surprised earlier this year when the NCAA asked them to apply to host tournament games after being denied a bid in 2009. An NCAA official told The Bee in September that Sacramento and its arena met the standards for host venues, including having an arena seating at least 12,000, a major airport and hotels.

September 7, 2012
Sacramento Kings rank near bottom of ESPN's franchise list

Well, Kings fans, at least hockey fans in Toronto have it worse than you.

ESPN's annual "Ultimate Standings" ranked the Kings 121st out of 122 professional sports franchises. The rankings were based on a variety of criteria analyzed by sports marketing experts and fan surveys, as well as teams' performance and ownership.

The Kings franchise ranked last in one category - ownership's "honesty and loyalty to core players and local community." And the team's stadium experience was ranked 121st.

August 28, 2012
Virginia Beach arena plan short on details, doesn't mention Kings

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - For now, it seems Kings fans don't have to lay awake at night worrying about this city stealing their team.

City officials presented only a preliminary plan today to construct an 18,500-seat arena a few blocks from the oceanfront. But they didn't present a financing plan, provided only a cost estimate and - most importantly to Sacramento basketball fans - didn't mention any potential sports teams as tenants.

In fact, the president of the sports and entertainment firm pitching the idea to the City Council went out of his way to distance the effort from the Kings.

August 28, 2012
Virginia Beach officials hearing arena plan details

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The City Council here is hearing the preliminary plans to build an 18,000-seat arena that would house a professional basketball or hockey franchise.

While officials have said they have not identified a potential tenant for the facility, the proposal has sparked speculation that the city is trying to lure the Sacramento Kings.

For those who have watched Sacramento's arena saga play out over the past decade, today's hearing will seem familiar.

Watch it live here.

Follow the Bee's Ryan Lillis, who is live at the meeting.

August 27, 2012
Assessing Virginia Beach as a suitor of the Sacramento Kings

virginia_beachB.jpgVIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- First it was Anaheim. Then Seattle. Now it's this seaside resort city on the Atlantic being mentioned as a potential suitor of the Sacramento Kings.

I arrived here late Sunday to assess how serious a threat this area is to luring the Kings from Sacramento. The City Council is scheduled Tuesday to hear the details of a proposal by Comcast-Spectacor to build an 18,000-seat arena that would house a major league sports franchise.

While officials have declined to identify a potential tenant for that arena, the Kings are the focus of the press coverage here and several media outlets have quoted sources saying the Sacramento team is a target.

August 1, 2012
Anti-arena campaign bankrolled by retirees, Sandy Sheedy

Some political campaigns are funded by unions. Others by business groups, philanthropists or developers.

The defunct campaign to stop public funding of a downtown sports arena? Well, that group has a new demographic to thank for its short-lived crusade: retirees.

According to newly-released campaign finance records, 13 of the 21 people who donated to STOP (Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork) listed their occupation as "retired." What's more, the largest contributor to the cause was Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy - who is about to enter retirement when she steps down from the council later this year.

July 30, 2012
Seattle's NBA arena deal hits a snag

The Seattle City Council is balking at a proposal to build a new basketball arena south of the city's downtown.

A proposal to build a $490 million arena in Seattle has fueled hope that the NBA would return to the Northwest, following the departure in 2008 of the Sonics. And much of that hope was turned with a watchful eye toward Sacramento - and the belief among some in Seattle that the Kings are a prime target for relocation.

But now Seattle's own arena plans have hit a snag.

June 14, 2012
Sacramento radio host Carmichael Dave launches comeback

A key figure in the fan-based effort to keep the Sacramento Kings in town is about to re-emerge.

Radio personality Carmichael Dave, recently fired by KHTK (1140 AM), will launch an internet radio station at 7 p.m. on Monday and co-host two weekday shows.

Dave - whose real name is Dave Weiglein - told me this week he will host a 10 a.m. show with former NFL quarterback and ESPN analyst Sean Salisbury. Later in the day, he'll have a show at 7 p.m. with Sean Thomas, his former co-host.

June 13, 2012
NBA Commissioner Stern: Kings not moving - for now

NBA Commissioner David Stern had some words of encouragement Tuesday for Kings fans: the team isn't moving to Anaheim. At least not right now.

During a chat with reporters before the first game of the NBA Finals, Stern said "if there was a vote now (on a relocation request by the Kings), there would be no support for a move."

"And I believe the ownership says they're planning to stay there," Stern added. "On other situations, I might hazard a guess or a prognostication. On this one, I'm out of the business. For now."

June 1, 2012
Campaign to force public vote on Sacramento arena is dead

The campaign to force a public vote on a downtown sports arena is dead - for now.

Campaign organizers failed to get the 21,000 valid signatures they needed for a November ballot measure asking voters whether they approved of public assistance for an arena in the downtown railyard. Organizers would not say how short they fell of that total, but said they are considering regrouping for a later election.

At the same time, the group is taking some credit for the collapse of a tentative agreement between the city and the Sacramento Kings. The team's owners backed out of the deal in April, citing both financial concerns and the signature-gathering campaign seeking to put the project to a vote.

May 1, 2012
With 'Plan B' still in play, mayor acknowledges city won't have arena done by 2015

At the very least, the collapse of the city's arena plan has delayed the potential opening of a new facility.

As the city explores a "Plan B" to build a downtown arena without the Sacramento Kings, Mayor Kevin Johnson acknowledged today "we're not going to make 2015."

City officials had hoped to open a planned $391 million arena in the downtown railyard in time for the 2015/16 NBA season. That plan fell apart after the Kings' owners pulled out of a handshake agreement to help finance the project. As a result, pre-development work on the arena has been halted, making the city's target date unrealistic.

April 25, 2012
Padilla convinced he'll win Sacramento mayor's race, but will have a job for Johnson

Leonard Padilla now seems convinced he'll be Sacramento's next mayor. But he graciously offers to reserve a job for Kevin Johnson.

The well-known bounty hunter and five-time mayoral candidate said as much in an email exchange with an NBA fan relations rep. Padilla sent out a copy of the email exchange today.

Padilla has objected to the public financing of a new downtown sports arena, a thought he shared with NBA Commissioner David Stern in a recent note. The NBA thanked him for his response - touching off the following statement from Padilla:

April 24, 2012
Mayor and Maloofs still talking, but time running out on reviving Sacramento arena deal

Mayor Kevin Johnson and Kings co-owner George Maloof spoke again this morning and have decided to meet in person within the next few days in what will likely be a make-or-break session.

The mayor told reporters this morning that the next sit down will probably determine whether the city's collapsed arena deal is back on, or if "we don't have the makings of a deal." Asked how confident he was that a deal would be resurrected between the city and its NBA team, Johnson said he was "hopeful rather than confident."

A Maloof spokesman told The Bee's Tony Bizjak that the meeting would take place in Sacramento on Thursday morning. But aides to the mayor said they had not confirmed their schedule.

April 23, 2012
Former Sacramento councilman files PRA with Anaheim seeking Kings-related communications

The paper battle surrounding the Sacramento Kings' future continues.

Former Councilman Robbie Waters has filed a rather large Public Records Act request - WatersAnaheimPRA.pdf - with the city of Anaheim, seeking communications between that city and the Kings; the company that runs Anaheim's Honda Center; the economist hired by the Maloofs to dissect the collapsed Sacramento arena plan; and several other parties.

Waters' record request follows a massive request filed by Maloof family attorneys back in March that sought communications between the city of Sacramento and 53 other parties. City officials criticized that request as a sign of a fracturing relationship between the city and the Kings' owners.

April 19, 2012
NBA great Robertson to get key to the city in Sacramento

Mayor Kevin Johnson isn't breaking all ties with the Sacramento Kings franchise.

Johnson will present basketball hall of famer Oscar Robertson with a key to the city at City Hall on Friday. The public event is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in the first floor foyer.

Robertson played 12 seasons, including from 1960 to 1970 for the Cincinnati Royals (the Royals would later move to Kansas City and then Sacramento). His No. 14 jersey has been retired by the Sacramento Kings.

April 19, 2012
NBA's Stern: 'Cooling off period' might be best in Sacramento arena effort

NBA Commissioner David Stern said today that it might be best for the city and the Maloofs to go through a "cooling off period" in the arena saga.

In a meeting with the Associated Press Sports editors, Stern added it was "unfortunate to not be able to deliver on what was a very promising situation." He had nothing more to add on the arena situation, according to AP reports.

April 17, 2012
Sacramento city manager: Vital arena-related work will go on

City Manager John Shirey said that just because the city's arena deal has collapsed, it doesn't mean City Hall will ignore other key projects linked to the deal.

Shirey told the City Council tonight the death of the latest arena plan "doesn't end everything," especially in regard to the city's ongoing development of the downtown railyard and developing 100 acres of city-owned property around Power Balance Pavilion.

On the railyard, where the arena would have been built, Shirey said "this setback does not mean we're giving up on" that site. He called it the "largest and maybe the best infill (development) opportunity anywhere in the country."

April 16, 2012
Live chat: What's the future for Sacramento arena?

April 13, 2012
Live chat replay: Today's arena developments in NY

April 12, 2012
City: Maloofs' records request created perception they want arena to fail

City officials said this week that a massive records request submitted by the Maloof family has created a perception that the Kings' owners are trying to derail the arena process.

In a letter from the city attorney's office, the Maloofs' attorneys were told the records request created a "perception that this is an attempt to undermine the good faith efforts of so many people and organizations, including the Kings' fans."

The Maloof family filed a seven-page records request, asking for correspondence between the city and the NBA, arena operator AEG, the arena development team and several other groups. City officials said they are still working on their response, but are asking that the Maloofs withdraw their request.

April 12, 2012
Maloofs respond to criticism of Sacramento business leaders

The Maloof family said this morning they were "saddened and disappointed" by criticism launched their way by local business leaders who are asking the NBA to find new ownership for the Sacramento Kings.

Minutes after a dozen business leaders released a letter urging the NBA to force the Maloofs to sell the Kings, the family sent out a statement saying they "share in the community's frustration on forging a workable agreement on what it is ultimately a $400 million transaction that will impact the region for many years to come."

The statement, issued by family spokesman Eric Rose, said "the goal of the Sacramento Kings' organization remains to open the 2015 NBA season in a new arena in Sacramento, and we look forward to working with the city on making that goal a reality."

April 10, 2012
Bounty hunter, mayoral hopeful Padilla: arena deal bad for Sacramento

Now we know what Leonard Padilla thinks of this arena deal. And so does the NBA.

Padilla, the famed bounty hunter who is running for mayor this spring for a fifth time, sent a note to NBA Commissioner David Stern saying that he "will make every effort as a candidate for mayor and as mayor to prevent any public funding for the arena."

"I sincerely believe that if the NBA, the Kings, AEG want an arena in Sacramento, be my guest and build it without any public funding," Padilla wrote.

April 6, 2012
Public workshop scheduled for Sacramento arena project

City officials have planned a public workshop to discuss the arena project on what will likely be a pivotal day in the process.

The public event is scheduled for Thursday, April 12, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the first floor lobby of City Hall. City staffers plan to discuss the proposed arena site in the downtown railyard, integrating the arena with the planned intermodal transit hub and linking the project to historic features of the railyard.

That same day, the owners of the Kings will be in New York at the NBA's Board of Governors meeting, where a dispute over who should pay pre-development costs for the arena project will be discussed.

April 5, 2012
Records request another sign of strained Kings/city relationship

The Public Records Act request filed by attorneys for the Sacramento Kings is as big as they come. And that isn't a good thing when it comes to the brittle relationship between the team and city officials.

Attorneys made a whopping 53 requests last month. A full copy of the request can be found here: KingsPRA4-5.pdf

Among other things, the team wants emails, letters, notes, phone conversation transcripts, contracts and memos. They want those communications related to talks between the city and several other parties, including the NBA, arena operator AEG, the owner of the downtown railyard, Goldman Sachs, the city's sports and parking consultants, and the arena development team.

April 4, 2012
NBA's Stern 'more hopeful than ... confident' in Sacramento arena talks

NBA Commissioner David Stern cast a somewhat cautious tone today when discussing Sacramento's arena situation with reporters in Salt Lake City.

According to a report by The Salt Lake Tribune, Stern said he was "more hopeful than I am confident right now" on Sacramento's arena effort. He also made it clear how important next week is to that effort, when the league's owners will meet in New York.

"We'll be having the Maloofs in to talk with some group of them and we'll see where it's going," he said. "Very, very hopeful that it gets on track, because the owners have a respect for the Maloofs. And I think the owners also have an enormous respect for what Sacramento has done over the years in supporting an NBA franchise. And it's always been our first preference -- particularly when government agencies or states are helpful -- to keep a team where a team is if they're playing in a good facility."

April 3, 2012
With feud simmering, Sacramento council vote on arena begins

Amid an acrimonious backdrop at City Hall, the Sacramento City Council has begun a meeting at which it will decide whether to move ahead with crucial pre-development work needed for a new downtown sports arena.

Live Twitter updates from The Bee's arena team: City Council arena vote

While the council is expected to approve the work, members of the council are also expected to voice frustration with the family that owns the Sacramento Kings over a dispute regarding who will cover the pre-development costs.

Mayor Kevin Johnson voiced his own anger earlier today, when he lashed out at the Maloof family during a press conference, calling their statements that the family never agreed to pay for pre-development costs of a new arena "disingenuous." The mayor also accused the Maloofs of "tactics and antics that are not becoming of a true partnership."

April 3, 2012
With council vote looming, Mayor Johnson lashes out at the Maloofs

By Ryan Lillis and Tony Bizjak

Mayor Kevin Johnson lashed out at the Maloof family today, calling their statements that the family never agreed to pay for pre-development costs of a new arena "disingenuous."

Hours before the City Council is expected to approve the start of crucial pre-development work on the $391 million arena, the mayor accused the Maloofs of "tactics and antics that are not becoming of a true partnership."

"We as a city can't be jerked around," he said. "We can't keep having this issue flare up."

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.

March 7, 2012
Live chat: Sacramento's path to a new arena

March 7, 2012
Sacramento Kings announce season ticket plans for next year

The Sacramento Kings are apparently trying to capitalize off Tuesday night's historic City Council vote.

The team announced this morning it was launching a season ticket campaign for the 2012-13 season. Prices will remain the same as this year, according to a news release.

That announcement came just hours after the City Council voted 7-2 to approve a non-binding "term sheet" that lays out the financing plan for a new $391 million sports arena in the downtown railyard.

March 6, 2012
Mayor: Sacramento 'on the verge of doing something very special' with arena vote

With the City Council expected to approve a non-binding financial plan for a new downtown sports arena tonight, Mayor Kevin Johnson told reporters this morning that "we're on the verge of doing something very special."

"We're finally at the point where we have one single vote, one moment in time to totally transform the downtown community and Sacramento for generations," he said.

The council is expected to approve a "term sheet" for a $391 million arena. The city has proposed contributing 65 percent of the project cost, mostly through either leasing or borrowing against downtown parking.

March 1, 2012
Maloof says some negotiating left to do on Sacramento arena

As the city prepares to release the financial term sheet of a new downtown sports arena, Kings co-owner George Maloof said today there are "some things we still have to negotiate," but that he is confident a deal will get done.

"Term sheets are not final deals, but there's enough in there that there's a road map to getting it done and that's our intention," Maloof told me. "It is our intention to get this done and stay in Sacramento."

Maloof would not say which parts of the term sheet still need negotiating.

February 29, 2012
Sacramento will contribute $255 million to new arena

By Tony Bizjak, Ryan Lillis and Dale Kasler

Sacramento city officials will release details tomorrow of the arena deal reached earlier this week with the Kings, including this notable number: $255,530,000.

That's the amount Mayor Kevin Johnson and his negotiators agreed the city officially will contribute to building an arena in the downtown railyard by 2015.

The official price tag of the arena was also bumped up from $387 million to $391 million.

February 27, 2012
Live chat: A new arena for Sacramento Kings

February 27, 2012
Sacramento arena talks enter third day

ORLANDO, Fla. - A third day of negotiations are underway over a plan to finance a new downtown sports arena in Sacramento.

Mayor Kevin Johnson said this morning "people are going to work as long as it takes" today. Still, the sides have until Thursday to finalize a deal and most indications are that the talks will extend beyond today even if the sides leave Orlando.

"Everyone has a good mindset and is ready to problem solve today," the mayor said.

February 26, 2012
Sacramento arena update: Maloofs say they want to stay

ORLANDO, Fla. - So far, the headline from the ongoing arena talks might be that the Maloof family, who own the Kings, have expressed a desire to stay in Sacramento.

"They said they want to be in Sacramento," Mayor Kevin Johnson said, emerging for a quick break from the talks. "That was a question I just had to ask for our community because I don't want us to be just coming up with excuses of why this deal won't work if somebody doesn't want to be here. They said clearly they want to be in Sacramento.

Negotiations over a new downtown sports arena could go late into the night.

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."

February 25, 2012
Source: Maloof contribution focus of Sacramento arena talks

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.

February 24, 2012
Gaines, Steinberg: Sacramento has done its part, NBA must step up on arena

ORLANDO - As the city enters the most important weekend in its years-long arena effort, State Senators Darrell Steinberg and Ted Gaines have a message for the NBA: the city has done its part and it's time for you to step up.

In phone interviews this morning, both Gaines (R-Roseville) and Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said city officials had crafted a solid financing plan for the $387 million downtown arena.

"Our message is that Sacramento has always done right by the Kings and the NBA and it's time for the NBA to do the right thing and make a long-term commitment to Sacramento," Steinberg told me. "Fundamentally, the NBA asked the community a year ago to put forward a serious proposal to build a downtown sports and entertainment complex and the community has done just that. This needs to end with success."

February 24, 2012
Mayor, city officials on their way to Orlando for arena talks

ORLANDO - Mayor Kevin Johnson and other city officials are on their way here for the most important weekend in the city's years-long fight to build a new arena.

Johnson, City Manager John Shirey and Assistant City Manager John Dangberg are scheduled to arrive around 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. They are expected to be joined in Orlando by Dan Barrett, the sports consultant assisting the city in its negotiations with the NBA and Sacramento Kings, and members of the mayor's Think Big arena committee. Negotiations with the NBA are scheduled for Sunday.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Ted Gaines (R-Roseville) told me this morning that he feels "the city of Sacramento has done their part in terms of laying the table for what should be a successful agreement" on the arena. Gaines is the co-chair of the Think Big committee, which has explored the financing options for the arena.

February 16, 2012
Seattle mayor releases arena proposal, says pathway exists to get NBA team

Seattle officials released the outline Thursday of a proposal to build a new NBA arena in the city.

The arena would be funded with $300 million in money from San Francisco hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and a group of investors, along with $200 million in bonds issued by the city of Seattle and King County. Those bonds would be paid back by rental payments from arena tenants and tax revenue generated by the facility, said Mayor Mike McGinn.

As for which NBA team is in Seattle's sights, McGinn said he was not speaking with the league and was leaving that up to Hansen. Officials said the arena would not be built without an NBA tenant.

February 14, 2012
Sacbee hosts live chat tonight on Sacramento arena plans

Fellow Bee reporter Tony Bizjak and I will be hosting a live online chat at 6:30 tonight, fielding your questions on the city's ongoing push for a new arena.

Bizjak and I will be at City Hall, where the City Council will debate whether to have city staff continue talking to private companies interested in leasing downtown parking, a key peg in the city's proposed financing deal for a new arena.

Tonight's chat will be followed by another forum tomorrow at noon, when I'll be wrapping up the council's vote and the next steps in the arena process.

Join the chats here on the City Beat blog or at to share you comments and questions.

February 14, 2012
Sacramento arena vote expected to pass easily tonight

The City Council appears ready to overwhelmingly support moving forward with the arena process tonight - with one councilman predicting the vote could be unanimous.

City staff is asking for permission from the council to dive into deeper talks with the 10 private firms interested in leasing downtown parking, the key piece of the financing plan for a new sports and entertainment complex. Tonight's vote is seen as an incremental step in the arena process, setting up a pivotal Feb. 28 meeting at which the council would vote to approve or reject the facility's full financing plan if one is cobbled together by then.

While four council members voted last week to place the parking element on the June ballot - a move that likely would have killed the arena deal - at least one of those council members said he will vote in favor of moving forward tonight.

February 13, 2012
Sacramento officials hope to present arena finance plan Feb. 28

In what would likely be the make-or-break moment of the city's work toward building a new downtown sports arena, city officials are hoping to seek City Council approval of a financing plan for the facility at the Feb. 28 council meeting.

That meeting will come two days before an NBA-imposed deadline for Sacramento to have a funding plan or risk losing the Sacramento Kings. While all sides have been working on the financing "term sheet" for weeks, City Council approval of the plan on Feb. 28 is likely the step the NBA is looking for to be convinced an arena plan is a reality here, officials said.

That term sheet will not only include the city's contribution to the $387 million project, but would also involve contributions from the NBA and/or the Kings, private arena operator AEG and the facility's development team.

February 9, 2012
Maloofs upbeat about team, but won't talk arena until plan develops

To say Joe and Gavin Maloof appeared upbeat before tonight's Kings game would be an understatement. We just don't know yet if they're upbeat about the arena situation.

The Maloof brothers were happy to field a few questions from me on the atmosphere leading up to tonight's nationally-televised game with Oklahoma City. But a team spokesman said they wouldn't respond to questions about the arena situation because there isn't a plan to talk about yet.

Joe and Gavin watched as their team finished its pre-game warm-ups. They sat in their luxury box, with Joe eating a steak and Gavin sipping a soda. Their mother, Colleen, sat by their side.

February 9, 2012
City staff narrows field of qualified firms interested in leasing Sacramento parking

Three of the 13 private firms that had expressed interest in leasing city-owned parking to help fund a new arena have been eliminated from the process.

Teams needed to "demonstrate strong financial resources and have a parking operator that has substantial experience managing both on and off-street parking assets," according to a city staff report released today.

Among the teams eliminated were local firm Revitalizing Sacramento LLC, made up of local parking operator Aaron Zeff and developer Larry Kelley. Bainbridge ZKS and CMB Export LLC were also crossed off the list.

February 9, 2012
Anaheim begins upgrade to arena, still interested in Kings

A lot of attention has been paid the past few days to Seattle's interest in the Kings. But there's news out of Anaheim this morning that shows Orange County still wants the Kings, too.

Lance Pugmire of The Los Angeles Times reports Anaheim officials and owners of that city's Honda Center arena broke ground Wednesday on a $20 million upgrade of the facility.

Honda Center owner Henry Samueli said he is "just waiting and standing on the sidelines" as Sacramento's arena work unfolds. Last year, in an attempt to lure the Kings to Anaheim, Samueli offered millions in upgrades to the arena, plus financial assistance to the Maloof family, owners of the Kings.

February 7, 2012
Sacramento arena talks expected to heat up

Mayor Kevin Johnson expects negotiations on the funding plan for a new downtown Kings arena to intensify, now that 13 firms have expressed interest in leasing the city's parking operations.

The mayor told reporters this morning that the city is "on track and in striking distance" of developing a financing plan for the $387 million arena. City officials are hoping to raise as much as $200 million for the project from the leasing of downtown parking garages, spaces and enforcement.

With more than a dozen firms expressing interest in those parking assets, the mayor said "it's going to be constant negotiations with (arena operator) AEG, the Kings and the NBA and all the interested parties" as the sides work on a funding plan before a March 1 deadline. If a plan does not materialize before then, the NBA has told the Maloofs - the family that owns the Kings - that they can explore moving the franchise.

February 6, 2012
Sacramento council to weigh June ballot vote on arena Tuesday

The City Council is scheduled Tuesday to consider Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy's request to place a measure on the June ballot asking voters if they want to use public parking assets to help finance a new sports arena.

Sheedy pulled the item from the agenda last month when Councilman Rob Fong was unable to attend that council meeting. While Fong is not expected to support Sheedy's request, he has played an integral role in the city's ongoing arena fight and Sheedy wanted her colleague present for the ballot measure debate.

There still appears to be limited support on the council for a June vote on the arena. Besides Sheedy, only Councilman Darrell Fong has expressed support for the vote.

February 6, 2012
Seattle's interest in Kings not impacting Sacramento's arena work - so far

The news out of Seattle this weekend that city officials are discussing a plan for a new arena in that city - and that they're monitoring the situation here - is so far having no impact on Sacramento's own arena work.

"We are focused on one thing and one thing only: what is in the best interest of the people of Sacramento," Mayor Kevin Johnson told me in an email. "And to that end we have put in place a plan that we believe is good for the League (the NBA), good for the team (the Kings) and, most importantly, good for the City when it comes to jobs and protecting the taxpayers."

At the very least, news that Seattle has a new arena plan in the works tells us one thing: there's potentially a new suitor for the Kings, should Sacramento's own arena deal fail.

February 3, 2012
Companies interested in Sacramento parking assets named

The 13 companies that responded to a request for firms interested in leasing city-owned parking operations includes several large companies specializing in parking assets, two partnerships with local ties and the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada.

City staff is examining the qualifications of each firm and is scheduled to go to the City Council on Feb. 14 to narrow down the list to the most qualified companies. After that, city staffers will ask the council to approve a formal request for proposals (RFP) that would lead to bids on the city's parking assets.

City officials are hoping to raise as much as $200 million from the leasing of downtown parking spaces, garages and enforcement. Officials have proposed using that upfront cash to help finance a new $387 million Kings arena in the downtown railyard.

January 27, 2012
City Beat poll: Does the Kings' record impact the arena?

After the Kings beat the Lakers on opening night, Mayor Kevin Johnson said, "If there is basketball and the team is doing good, that can only help our efforts" toward building a new arena.

So what happens when the team isn't doing so good? The Kings have fallen to 6-13 and are coming off a 29-point home loss to Denver on Wednesday.

Does the play on the court hurt public support for an arena? Or does it not matter at all? Weigh in.

January 27, 2012
City cops like arena - and the idea of handling game security

The city's powerful police union supports the plan to build a new Kings arena downtown. But this isn't simply an issue of public safety.

Mark Tyndale, the head of the Sacramento Police Officers Association, said his organization has been told city police officers would handle arena security during Kings games should the facility be built.

Since 1999, those duties have fallen to the Sacramento Sheriff's Department in a deal worked out between the team and former Sheriff Lou Blanas. It's an arrangement that has "always been a little bit of a thorn in our side," said Tyndale.

January 24, 2012
Sheedy to delay debate on Kings arena funding ballot measure

Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy will ask tonight to postpone a council discussion of her request to place a measure on the June ballot regarding an arena financing plan. It's unclear when that talk will now take place.

Sheedy told me she is postponing because Councilman Rob Fong is expected to miss tonight's council meeting and she wants the entire council to weigh in on her proposal.

Sheedy is pushing for a June ballot measure to ask voters if they want to spend public assets on building a new downtown Kings arena. City officials are banking on generating as much as $200 million from the leasing of city-owned parking operations. It's the biggest chunk of money anticipated for the $387 million arena.

January 19, 2012
Sacramento City Council to consider arena ballot measure

While City Council support for the move appears limited, Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy's request for a June ballot measure asking voters if they approve of using public parking assets to help fund an arena is scheduled to be debated by the council on Tuesday.

Only Sheedy and Councilman Darrell Fong have expressed support for a public vote on the arena funding package. The council has until next month to place a measure on the ballot.

Sheedy has emerged as the most vocal opponent of a plan to lease city-owned parking facilities and enforcement operations to help finance a new downtown sports and entertainment center.

January 17, 2012
S.F. Giants owner to Sacramento: Arena worth the fight

San Francisco Giants president and CEO Larry Baer has this message for those trying to build a new downtown sports arena in Sacramento: "Don't give up."

Baer, the keynote speaker at this morning's State of Downtown breakfast at Memorial Auditorium, noted that the Giants organization tried multiple times to build its new ballpark before opening AT&T Park in 2000. Throughout those attempts, the franchise threatened to move twice and voters turned down four funding proposals.

"It can be done, don't give up," Baer said. "You must persevere, you must exercise patience, you must have strong leadership in the private and public sector."

January 13, 2012
City Beat poll update: Record response to Kings arena poll

If there's one message to take away from the (very unscientific) poll I posted Thursday about the leasing of city-owned parking, it's that readers are incredibly passionate in both their support and opposition of a new downtown sports arena.

As of 1 p.m. Friday, when I closed voting, those who want to lease downtown parking operations to help fund an arena had out-voted those who want the city to hold onto its parking assets. I suspect some people voted numerous times on all sides, which speaks to the emotions swirling around this issue.

In all, 4,116 votes were tallied - by far the largest response to a poll on this blog. Of those, 2,251 supported leasing parking operations to help fund an arena. City officials said that such an agreement could generate up to $200 million toward the $387 million project.

January 12, 2012
City Beat poll: What to do with downtown parking assets

As the private sector begins to examine how much downtown's parking spaces, garages and enforcement operations are worth, I thought it might be worth gauging support for leasing those facilities to help build an arena.

You'll find a poll to the right with a couple of answers. But if you'd like to expand on your thoughts, please email me at

There are a few options.

January 10, 2012
Mayor: Delay in arena parking bid sent wrong message to NBA

Mayor Kevin Johnson said today he was concerned that a decision by city officials to delay soliciting interest from the private sector in taking over downtown parking operations could "send a message to the NBA that something is not quite on track" with the city's bid to finance a new downtown sports arena.

Johnson told The Bee's editorial board that he was not consulted by City Manager John Shirey's office before the decision was made a few weeks ago to push back the release of a request for qualifications from Dec. 22 until Monday. And he said he disagreed with the decision.

City officials are counting on generating as much as $200 million in upfront cash for the $387 million arena by leasing downtown parking spaces, garages and enforcement to a private company.

December 27, 2011
Mayor Johnson sees boost in arena effort as Kings play - and win

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."

December 14, 2011
Some Sacramento council members seeking regional dollars for arena project

There is a renewed push among some Sacramento City Council members to get other local governments involved financially in the building of a new downtown sports arena. But is it too late?

Councilman Rob Fong has been particularly vocal in saying the city of Sacramento shouldn't go at the arena deal alone, a stance he repeated Tuesday night during a pivotal council vote to gauge interest from the private sector in the city's parking operations.

"I think we need to make a real effort to see what the other cities - and frankly the counties - in the region who would kind of be our partners in this venture could contribute in a real way so that they're having these sorts of discussions in their chambers as well," said Fong, who voted to approve moving forward with a request for qualifications from parking companies.

December 13, 2011
Sacramento council on verge of approving key arena vote

It appears the Sacramento City Council will approve tonight issuing a request for qualifications from companies interested in leasing the city's downtown parking operations, the key peg in the financing of a new arena.

Tony Bizjak tweets from the City Council meeting

Mayor Kevin Johnson and four council members have told The Bee in recent days they support issuing an RFQ. In addition to the mayor, Council members Steve Cohn, Rob Fong, Jay Schenirer and Kevin McCarty have all said they are open to the RFQ. Five votes are enough to pass the proposal.

The RFQ is a key step in the arena financing model, but it isn't the biggest step. That will come early next year, when the City Council - armed with a complete financing package that also includes contributions from the NBA, Sacramento Kings and arena operator AEG - will decide whether to issue a request for proposals seeking formal bids for the parking assets.

November 21, 2011
Sacramento arena namesake Power Balance files for bankruptcy

Power Balance, the Southern California wristband company that purchased the naming rights of the Sacramento Kings' arena earlier this year, filed for bankruptcy protection last week, documents show.

The company's filing for Chapter 11 reorganization comes after it settled a $57.4 million class action lawsuit in September filed by customers who charged the company with false advertising. Power Balance officials denied a report on TMZ that the company would close.

Kevin Boyle, an attorney with Panish, Shea & Boyle and the lead counsel on the case against Power Balance, confirmed the settlement for The Bee. There is a 1:30 p.m. court hearing scheduled for today on Power Balance's bankruptcy filing.

November 17, 2011
Sacramento looks to Kansas City for lessons on arena deal

Proponents of a new downtown Sacramento sports arena think they have a pretty good model to follow in Kansas City.

That Midwestern city - which is comparable in size to Sacramento - opened the Sprint Center in 2007. The $276 million downtown arena was financed through both private and public sources and, even without a professional sports team as an anchor tenant, has exceeded city officials' expectations.

The public contribution to the project comes in the form of a tax on rental cars and hotels that was passed by voters. That revenue covers the annual $14 million bond payments on the project and - so far anyway - enough tax has been collected to cover those payments, keeping the city off the hook, Dennis Gagnon, a spokesman for the city of Kansas City told me today.

November 17, 2011
Former Kansas City mayor in Sacramento to talk about arena

The mayoral task force charged with coming up with a workable proposal for a new downtown sports arena is holding a forum today with a mayor who helped oversee the construction of an arena in her city.

Former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes will speak at Think Big Sacramento's event today at the Hart Senior Center, 915 27th St. The forum is scheduled from 11 a.m. to noon and I will update the blog after her presentation.

Barnes was mayor from 1999 to 2007. Kansas City's Sprint Center was opened in 2007.

November 15, 2011
Mayor: NBA lockout doesn't hurt public support for arena

The ongoing NBA lockout may not have slowed Sacramento's push to build a new downtown sports arena. But does it hurt public support for the project?

Mayor Kevin Johnson doesn't think so, even as the City Council prepares to make a critical vote in the coming weeks on the project's financing plan.

Johnson told reporters once again today that the project is about more than basketball. Still, the Kings would act as the anchor tenant of a new arena and many still view the proposed facility as a basketball arena.

November 2, 2011
FPPC won't investigate Sheedy for Kings arena poll

That didn't take long.

The Fair Political Practices Commission said today it won't open an investigation into Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy in response to a complaint that she improperly used campaign funds to conduct a poll showing city residents want to vote on any plan for a new sports arena involving public assets.

In a letter sent to Sheedy today, Gary Winuk, chief of the FPPC's enforcement division, wrote that "the use of campaign funds to conduct a poll is an appropriate use of campaign funds" and that "since the telephone calls were not for the purpose of advocating for a candidate or ballot measure, no identification by the Sheedy campaign was required."

November 2, 2011
Plan to use parking revenue for Sacramento arena to be discussed

We should start to get a pretty clear idea Thursday of how city officials intend to lease city-owned parking facilities to help finance a new downtown sports arena.

City officials and the task force charged with developing a financing plan for a new arena will hold a public meeting Thursday to discuss that potential revenue stream. The meeting is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in the City Council Chambers of Historic City Hall, 915 I St.

At the meeting, the arena task force - Think Big Sacramento - will present a recommendation for how that parking agreement could work. If approved, development officials say a parking agreement could generate millions of dollars for the construction of the $387 million arena.

November 1, 2011
FPPC complaint filed over Sheedy's arena poll - or was it?

There are a lot more questions than answers in the ongoing political tiff over the poll commissioned by Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy's that showed city residents want to vote on any proposal for a new sports arena that involves public assets.

It has been reported that Sheedy is the focus of a complaint made to the Fair Political Practices Commission last week. Copies of the alleged complaint were circulated to the media over the weekend, but there's a problem: the FPPC hasn't received the complaint, according to Gary Winuk, chief of the commission's enforcement division.

There's something else that doesn't make sense. The name on the document is Robert Langdon, a Rosemont resident who wasn't even surveyed by Sheedy's pollsters. And, based on an email exchange I've had with Langdon, it's not clear he knew he was filing a complaint.

November 1, 2011
Fight continues over Sheedy's Kings arena poll

The political tiff continues over the poll paid for by Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy's re-election campaign that showed city residents want to vote on any proposal for a new sports arena that involves public assets.

Sheedy is now the focus of a complaint made to the Fair Political Practices Commission. The charge: Sheedy didn't tell those who were called that the poll was paid for by her campaign.

But there's something about that complaint that doesn't quite make sense: it was made by a guy who doesn't live in the city and wasn't surveyed by Sheedy's pollsters.

October 4, 2011
Sacramento officials, NBA, arena developers to meet in Dallas

Officials with the city of Sacramento, the NBA, arena development group ICON/Taylor and arena operator AEG will hold their first key meeting in Dallas on Wednesday to discuss the construction of a new sports arena in the downtown railyard.

According to a memo written by City Manager John Shirey, the sides will have a "preliminary technical discussion."

"Following this discussion, we will lay out the process and timeline that formal discussions and negotiations will take place," Shirey wrote. "Our collective goal is to reach a definitive financing plan by the end of the year."

September 27, 2011
Pivotal Sacramento arena vote before City Council tonight

The Sacramento City Council will take a pivotal vote tonight on whether to hire a team of consultants to lead the city through the early stages of constructing a new sports arena downtown. But with just a few hours remaining before the debate, it was unclear if the plan had unanimous support from the council.

City Manager John Shirey has recommended hiring a team of lawyers, investment bankers and other consultants to help the city look at potential funding sources, plan for the project's construction and help represent the city in negotiations with the Sacramento Kings and the National Basketball Association.

The total cost of the consultant team would be $555,000.

August 17, 2011
Sacramento arena funding plan to be released Sept. 8

We now know when and where the proposed financing plan for a new downtown sports arena will be unveiled.

Rich Ehisen, president of the Sacramento Press Club, announced during Tuesday's luncheon that the menu of funding options for the proposed $387 million facility would be revealed during the Press Club's Sept. 8 event.

While precise details of the financing plan are still unknown, Chris Lehane, the chair of the task force, said in a new release this morning that it will include "contributions from both the public and private sectors, including the Kings ownership group, arena developers and operators."

August 9, 2011
Design experts: Sacramento arena, transit hub can co-exist

A report by the Urban Land Institute has found that both a new sports arena and the city's planned transit hub could fit in land in the downtown railyard.

When designs for the proposed arena were unveiled in May, transit advocates quickly noticed that the plans called for the facility to be placed directly on the site of the planned $300 million transit hub, known by some as the intermodal facility. City planners hope to one day construct a hub for high-speed rail, light rail and buses.

But the ULI report says the two facilities not only could fit in the railyard - they could work well together.

July 14, 2011
Sacramento arena task force starts its regional sales job

Members of Mayor Kevin Johnson's arena team hopped on a bus in El Dorado Hills this morning to begin a four-county sales pitch of building a new facility.

The centerpiece of the sales pitch was a report the group released showing that most people who attended events at Power Balance Pavilion during a three-year period live outside Sacramento County. The numbers for the analysis were provided by the NBA and Sacramento Kings.

Placer County residents made up 13 percent of those attending events at the arena, the highest number among those living outside Sacramento, according to the study. San Joaquin County residents made up 8 percent of event goers, and Solano and Yolo County residents each made up 6 percent.

July 13, 2011
Sacramento arena task force taking its show to the 'burbs

Sacramento's arena task force will embark on a regional bus tour Thursday to advocate in the suburbs for a new facility.

The tour is scheduled to kick off at 10 a.m. in El Dorado Hills. Stops in Roseville and Davis are also planned before the tour ends up in Rancho Cordova.

The Think Big Sacramento task force will also release a study analyzing the economic impact of an arena on the region. Think Big released an economic impact report two weeks ago, but apparently the study slated to be presented Thursday will look at a larger geographic area.

July 7, 2011
Arena task force seeks volunteers, will launch design contest

Here We Draw.

Hoping to build on what they say is a groundswell of public support for a new sports arena, the task force charged with coming up with a financing plan for the facility will launch a design competition for a public space near the arena.

That competition, which will get underway in the coming weeks, is part of a broader plan dubbed the Citizen Architects initiative. That plan is seeking volunteers from the public to take a more active role in the Think Big Sacramento arena task force.

June 30, 2011
Here We Scuffle: The story behind the arena task force's name

A little bit of drama broke out this week over the new name of Mayor Kevin Johnson's arena task force.

Turns out, according to the mayor's office, the team that set up a "Here We Build" website earlier this year wanted $350,000 if the task force was going to use that name. The mayor's office balked and changed the name of the group this week to "Think Big Sacramento."

"We changed the name to Think Big Sacramento to keep the focus on the incredible excitement and potential of this community-minded, not-for-profit initiative," the mayor's spokesman, Joaquin McPeek, told me this afternoon.

June 15, 2011
Could a 'sin tax' be the answer to Sacramento's arena puzzle?

Would voters here support a tax on alcohol and cigarettes to help finance a new arena?

A bill introduced by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) would provide local governments a large pallet of options to raises taxes for schools, public safety and other local services. The tax increases, of course, would require voter approval.

One of those options would be an excise tax on alcohol and tobacco - commonly referred to as a "sin tax" or "public health tax." Voters in Cleveland approved similar fees in the 1990s to fund the construction of baseball, basketball and football stadiums.

June 14, 2011
Potential Kings buyer on arena task force; Maloofs not worried

A few names stuck out from the regional arena task force named this week by Mayor Kevin Johnson.

One of those names was Darius Anderson, a well-known Sacramento developer and lobbyist working with Ron Burkle, the billionaire who has expressed interest in buying the Sacramento Kings. Anderson was named to the task force's executive committee, which will take on a major role as the group investigates potential funding mechanisms for the $387 million arena project.

Burkle and Anderson's overtures earlier this year were met with outright anger from the Maloof family, who own the Kings.

June 13, 2011
Members of mayor's regional arena commission named

The members of a regional arena commission have been named. The group, dubbed Here We Build, will spend the next three months analyzing options for how to finance a new sports arena in Sacramento.

Members of the group will hold their first public meeting on Thursday. Details for the session are still being worked out, but its focus will be on combining public and private resources for an arena project.

The 15 members of the group's executive committee are:

June 13, 2011
Full roster of mayor's regional arena commission released

The members of a regional arena commission have been named. The group, dubbed Here We Build, will spend the next three months analyzing options for how to finance a new sports arena in Sacramento.

Members of the group will hold their first public meeting on Thursday. Details for the session are still being worked out, but its focus will be on combining public and private resources for an arena project.

The 15 members of the group's executive committee are:

May 27, 2011
Will Sacramento embrace an urban arena?

Sacramento's latest arena plan depends on us to embrace a truly urban experience. Are we willing to do so?

Most notably, there are no plans to build large parking lots around the arena being proposed for the downtown railyard. Many callers and commenters on the City Beat blog have taken note of that.

Those behind the plan say there are 8,200 parking spaces within four blocks of the site, most of which are owned by the city and are vacant at night, when most events at the arena would be held.

May 26, 2011
Sacramento's arena plan reviewed by City Council, public

With Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof and dozens of fans in attendance at City Hall, the Sacramento City Council is getting its first look at the detailed plans behind an arena proposed for the downtown railyard.

Those plans call for an arena somewhere in the mid-range of NBA facilities - not as large as some of the mega-arenas built in recent years, but much bigger than the Kings' current home, Power Balance Pavilion.

The plan does not present a funding mechanism for the project, whose cost is estimated at $387 million. Both the public and private sectors would have to make "significant contributions" to the development, the report states.

May 17, 2011
Mayor, two councilmembers absent as city debates police cuts

Of all the budget hearings to take place at City Hall over the next six weeks, none may be as intense as tonight's, when proposed cuts to the police department are rolled out in detail.

The police and fire unions will be there in force, scheduling a press conference before the 6 p.m. hearing to criticize proposals to lay off 80 police officers and shut down fire rigs. Cops, firefighters and neighborhood activists will also be there, as will the media.

But three key people won't be there.

May 5, 2011
Maloof: Kings will spend to improve team, keep key players

We don't know what the future holds for the Kings beyond the 2011-12 season. But team co-owner Gavin Maloof is saying some things about the franchise that might give fans some optimism for the upcoming season.

After an hour-long meeting with Kings sponsors today, Maloof told reporters the team would take advantage of its available salary cap space this off-season. Also of note: Maloof said the Kings would try to re-sign guard Marcus Thornton and center Samuel Dalembert.

"We have money, we have cap space, we have the most cap space of any team in the NBA," Maloof said. "That's how you win. You need players. And we have money and we're going to spend it."

May 5, 2011
Gavin Maloof, Mayor Johnson to meet Kings sponsors at Sheraton

RP NBA KINGS GAVIN AND MAYOR.JPGSacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, left, and Gavin Maloof share a laugh during a season ticket holders luncheon where the two talked about support for the Kings. Photo by Randy Pench

The Maloofs are becoming a visible part of the rebranding of the Sacramento Kings.

That effort takes another big step this afternoon, when Gavin Maloof joins Mayor Kevin Johnson at a 1 p.m. luncheon with Kings sponsors at the Sheraton Grand. Gavin and his brothers, Joe and George, already spent several hours earlier this week calling sponsors and luxury suite holders after deciding to keep the team in Sacramento another year.

Meanwhile, a team of the NBA's top marketing specialists are in town helping the Kings reconnect with season ticket holders. While not giving out numbers, Chris Granger, executive VP of the NBA's Team Marketing & Business Operations group, said the response to season ticket renewals has "exceeded even our most hopeful expectations."

May 4, 2011
Webber will play a role in Sacramento's arena fight

We're going to hear a lot of people weigh in over the next few months on how to finance a new arena for the Kings. But one voice heard this week is having a particularly strong impact with fans.

Former Kings great Chris Webber is saying he has private investors lined up to help fund the construction of an arena. Speaking Monday on TNT, Webber said the city must prove it deserves the team and that there's a lot of work to be done.

"Within this year, we're going to make some special things happen," Webber said.

April 29, 2011
Few details emerge on Sacramento's arena plans

Regional leaders met again today on the Kings' future. Perhaps the most notable aspect of the meeting was the presence of developer David Taylor, who is leading a City Hall-sponsored study of what it would take to build a new arena.

The key element of that study - the cost and how it would be paid for - is still being worked out. But Taylor did provide the group with some other details.

Mayor Kevin Johnson said Taylor told the officials an arena here should be in the 650,000-square-foot range. Power Balance Pavilion is 442,000 square feet. Sacramento doesn't need something on par with arenas built in L.A. or Orlando - but it does need something bigger than its current facility, Johnson said.

April 27, 2011
With Kings' fate still unclear, NBA turns its attention to Anaheim

After spending the past week researching Sacramento's viability as a home for the Kings, the NBA began turning its attention to Anaheim this morning.

Members of the league's relocation committee spoke with Anaheim Arena Management, officials told The Bee's Dale Kasler. The Orange County Register reported the Maloofs, who own the Kings, were expected to take part in the conversation as well.

A team of NBA staffers, led by the league's top marketing official, are still in Sacramento looking at $10 million in corporate pledges made to the Kings for next season - if there is a next season. The Maloofs have until Monday to seek relocation.

April 25, 2011
Sacramento corporations to make deposits on pledges to Kings

In a sign the region is moving one step closer to keeping the Kings in Sacramento for another year, Mayor Kevin Johnson is coordinating a meeting between local corporations and NBA representatives on Tuesday during which companies will agree to make deposits on their sponsorship and ticket commitments to the Sacramento Kings.

With the deposits, officials are seeking to solidify $10 million in corporate pledges gathered by the mayor and the local business community.

Details of the meeting are still being worked out, but it is expected to be held Tuesday morning and be followed by a press conference. At least 30 business representatives are expected to attend the meeting.

April 21, 2011
Landmarks, firms color Sacramento purple today

Some downtown landmarks are showing their colors as a delegation from the NBA begins a tour of Sacramento today, trying to determine whether the city is a viable pro basketball market.

At the Sheraton Grand Hotel, soft purple lighting lit up the large windows looking out on to J Street. Inside, the bar will be serving purple sangrias on purple napkins.

A few blocks away, the pillars of the iconic Memorial Auditorium were lit in purple Wednesday night. And at the U.S. Bank Tower on Capitol Mall, the LED lights were also aglow in purple.

April 20, 2011
Kings fans urged to wear purple Thursday with NBA in town

First there was "Here We Stay." That was followed by "Here We Build," "Here We Sit" and even "Here We Burkle."

Now, Kings fans are spreading the word about "Here We Purple." It's a movement to have Kings fans throughout the city wear purple on Thursday, the day an NBA delegation arrives in Sacramento to test the region's viability as a pro basketball market.

Like the other campaigns, this one is being spread through social media such as Twitter. The hashtag #HereWePurple had been mentioned in more than 100 tweets by 9:30 this morning.

April 19, 2011
Regional leaders to meet on effort to keep Kings in Sacramento

Thumbnail image for 20110315_ha_johnson3086.JPGMayor Kevin Johnson will meet with regional political leaders on Wednesday in an attempt to show the NBA that Sacramento isn't alone in the drive to keep the Kings.

Details of the meeting are still being worked out, but it is expected to involve representatives from across the six-county region. A delegation of NBA officials in town later this week will also be introduced to some of the regional leaders.

"(The NBA) is going to want to know what's different this time than the previous times when we've tried to do a new entertainment and sports complex and failed, and I think there's a political will and leadership," the mayor told reporters this morning.

April 18, 2011
NBA will be in Sacramento Thursday to explore Kings' fate

The NBA will be in town Thursday and Friday to discuss recent efforts to keep the Kings and explore Sacramento's viability as a pro basketball city.

Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett and NBA attorney Harvey Benjamin are leading the league's examination of which city - Anaheim or Sacramento - is the best fit for the Kings. Bennett is chair of the NBA's relocation committee.

The Kings have until May 2 to ask the league's permission to move to Anaheim. The deadline was set last week following the NBA Board of Governors meetings during which officials from Sacramento and Anaheim made their cases for the Kings.

April 18, 2011
With Clay Bennett in charge, are Kings fans doomed?

He's reviled in Seattle, beloved by hoops fans on the Great Plains. But what will Clay Bennett's legacy be in Sacramento?

Bennett, the owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder, is chairing the NBA's relocation committee as it explores which city is the best fit for the Kings - Anaheim or Sacramento. Bennett and other NBA officials are expected in California later this week to see whether Anaheim's proposal for the team needs more work and whether Sacramento's recent efforts are enough to keep the team here.

Many Kings fans are inevitably shrieking at Bennett's role in this. After all, he moved the Seattle Sonics to Oklahoma City just three years ago, a move many fans in the Pacific Northwest still consider a case of larceny.

April 14, 2011
Mayor Johnson doesn't think the NBA is done with Sacramento

By Ryan Lillis

Minutes before the Kings took the court for perhaps the final time in Sacramento, Mayor Kevin Johnson sounded defiant. It was a markedly different tone for a guy who just weeks ago said the process of losing the team felt "like a slow death."

"I just don't believe it's the last game here, that's the bottom line," he told me Wednesday night in a tunnel underneath Power Balance Pavilion. "I figure we're a resilient community and we're going to figure out a way to get it done."

Does he have the answer? We'll soon know. The mayor is meeting today with a group of NBA team owners to pitch Sacramento as a viable pro basketball city.

April 13, 2011
Sacramento businesses try to show corporate support for NBA

As the hours tick down on the effort to keep the Kings in Sacramento, business interests are trying to put together millions of dollars in sponsorships and partnerships for an NBA franchise in town.

Matt Mahood, the president and CEO of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, sent out a plea on Tuesday asking for those willing to commit at least $100,000 to suites, blocks of season tickets, sponsorships or naming rights for an NBA team. Mahood said he had received "soft commitments" of around $5 million as of Tuesday and is hoping to raise $10 million.

Showing a corporate commitment to the NBA will be a key element of Mayor Kevin Johnson's pitch to the league on Thursday in New York. Johnson said he will try to convince the league's owners that Sacramento is a viable NBA market.

April 12, 2011
Mayor and arena expert will tout Sacramento to NBA

Thumbnail image for 20110315_ha_johnson3086.JPGAs he tries to convince the NBA this week that Sacramento is a city worthy of a pro basketball franchise, Mayor Kevin Johnson will be joined by the guy at the forefront of the latest effort to build a new arena in town.

Tim Romani, president and CEO of the ICON Venue Group, will accompany the mayor during his presentation to the NBA Board of Governors in New York on Thursday. ICON is working with Sacramento developer David Taylor on a City Hall-sponsored arena study due out next month.

"I want the NBA to know that even though we've had failed attempts in the past (at building a new arena), I think it's a new era in Sacramento," the mayor told reporters this morning. "Whether the Kings are here or not, our commitment is to go forward with a new facility in the next four years."

April 7, 2011
Is Phil Jackson becoming a hero to Sacramento Kings fans?

Kings fans may have to alter their opinions of Lakers coach Phil Jackson.

The guy who once called our city a "cow town" continues to come to the defense of Sacramento as it appears more and more likely to lose the Kings to Anaheim.

Jackson told former Bee sportswriter Sam Amick on Wednesday that he thinks having three teams in the Los Angeles market sets a bad precedent for other big-market teams. What's more, he said it would be "disheartening" to see Kings fans lose their team.

April 6, 2011
Anaheim mayor: Sacramento campaign to keep Kings is futile

The mayor of Anaheim has a message to those trying to reverse his city's decision to issue bonds and lure the Kings to town: Don't bother.

Mayor Tom Tait told Eric Carpenter of The Orange County Register that a signature drive to get a referendum on the ballot to reverse the bond decision "is not a good use of time and resources."

"We've been very clear from the beginning that any NBA deal would be privately funded," the mayor said in an email exchange with Carpenter. "Our actions as a city council last week assured that protection to our taxpayers."

April 5, 2011
Mayor isn't worried about city's loan to Kings

Thumbnail image for 20110315_ha_johnson3086.JPGMayor Kevin Johnson isn't too upset that the Maloofs have refused a demand for written assurance that the Kings' owners will repay a $77 million loan to the city if they bolt for Anaheim. He's certain the loan will be repaid.

Still, as the mayor told reporters this morning, "it's not in the best interest of the Maloofs to not make good on paying here in Sacramento and expect to be embraced by another city in Anaheim." And should the team decide not to pay, the mayor said he expects "lawsuit after lawsuit."

How worried are you that the loan won't be repaid?

April 1, 2011
Campaign seeks to delay Anaheim bonds that would lure Kings

In the quest to keep the Kings, a group of Sacramentans are about to do what this town does best: pick a political fight.

Funded by a small group of local business owners and a former Sacramento councilman, campaign workers will be on the streets of Anaheim soon collecting signatures for a ballot referendum aimed at holding up that city's decision to sell bonds to lure the Kings to town.

The Anaheim City Council voted Tuesday to issue a $75 million bond package that will be repaid by billionaire Henry Samueli, who operates the city-owned Honda Center.

March 31, 2011
Mayor to plead Sacramento's case to NBA owners next month

Four days before the Sacramento Kings' deadline to ask the NBA for permission to leave town, Mayor Kevin Johnson will plead the city's case to the league's team owners.

Johnson said Thursday he will address the league's Board of Governors in New York on April 14. The Kings are negotiating a move to Anaheim and have until April 18 to ask for permission to relocate.

The mayor's priority is to explain the importance of the Kings to Sacramento and promote efforts to build a new arena.

March 31, 2011
Pledges still rolling in for Kings' fans fundraising effort

The grassroots campaign urging to keep the Kings in Sacramento broke the $200,000 pledge mark this morning.

KHTK sports radio's Carmichael Dave said the pledges are flowing in through Twitter and the "Here We Build" Facebook page.

Dave - who prefers to not have his real last name printed - said the true focus of the effort is not to raise the $300 million or so needed for a new arena. Instead, some ideas being tossed around include purchasing bricks with contributors' names on them for outside a new facility and shoring up ticket sales for next season - if there is a next season.

March 30, 2011
City asks Kings for written promise that they'll repay loan

The city of Sacramento has asked the Kings and the NBA for written promises that the team will repay a $77 million loan it owes the city before relocating to Anaheim.

Assistant City Manager John Dangberg wrote Wednesday that "the Kings have taken steps and made statements that indicate that it would be prudent and appropriate for the City to request that the Kings now put in writing the assurance" that the loan will be repaid.

Dangberg wrote the city was encouraged by comments team co-owner George Maloof made to The Bee this week that the team would pay off its debt if it decided to move.

March 30, 2011
Despite Kings news, Sacramento's arena efforts push forward

Anaheim may have opened the door to a Sacramento Kings move to Southern California on Tuesday by approving a $75 million bond package for improvements to the Honda Center. But that doesn't mean Sacramento City Hall and Kings fans are giving up on their own arena quests.

Developer David Taylor and arena builder ICON Venue Group are still working on their arena financial feasibility study and are expected to present their results at the end of May, city officials said Tuesday night.

Meantime, KHTK sports radio's Carmichael Dave has started a "Here We Build" fundraising driving to help get a new arena built. Supporters have set the lofty goal of raising $200 million and have already set up digital billboards on the freeways. The campaign just started, but there is a website and a Twitter hashtag: #HereWeBuild.

March 29, 2011