The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

February 23, 2012
NBA Commissioner David Stern speaks on Sac arena deal
For those of you following every twist and turn in the arena saga, you can read and hear for yourself what NBA Commissioner David Stern has said.

In a column in The Bee last May, just after NBA owners gave Sacramento a reprieve, he extolled arena financing deals where the public and private sectors join forces and stressed that the Kings would make a "substantial contribution." "The NBA has experienced the success public-private partnerships can have in developing facilities that contribute to the economic transformation of neighborhoods," Stern wrote.

In an interview this week, he again pledged a "substantial contribution" from the team -- but suggested that money put in by potential arena operator AEG should count toward that sum because "whatever money AEG puts in is because of givebacks by the team to allow AEG to profit from the arena."

That calculation could kill the arena deal because the city is counting on $85 million from the Kings separate and apart from $50 million from AEG. So the proposal should be a non-starter, The Bee's editorial board said today.

Is Stern doing some negotiating in public? Or is he putting down a marker?

We should know pretty soon as negotiations between Mayor Kevin Johnson and other city leaders, league officials and Kings owners the Maloof family shift into overdrive this coming weekend in Orlando, in conjunction with the NBA's All-Star Game. All sides hope to come to terms by Thursday -- and the "term sheet" is to go before the City Council on March 6.

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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