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SACRAMENTO CITY COUNCIL WRESTLES WITH KINGS DECISION
Published January 31, 1997
In Sacramento, some members of the eight-person City Council "appear to be reluctant to make a call on the issue" of a $70M loan to keep the NBA Kings in town, according to Tony Bizjak in the SACRAMENTO BEE. While it will take five council votes to OK the deal, "several" say they are not pleased with the team's desire for a quick decision, and want to wait until outside financial experts see the Kings' books, review the deal and offer advice. Four members are "leaning toward approving the deal," three are so far against it, and one is "on the fence." The council has granted loans to private businesses before, such as $26M to "lure" Packard Bell two years ago, but the $70M being discussed would represent the largest loan the city has ever given to private enterprise (SACRAMENTO BEE, 1/30). NAME GAMES: The "long running feud" over naming rights between Thomas and Arco has emerged as a "potential deal- killer" in the city's efforts to keep the team, according to Gary Delsohn in the SACRAMENTO BEE. Thomas contends Arco is obligated to pay around $1M a year for at least 20 years to keep its name and logo on the arena. Arco has said that it has already paid more than $7M under a 99-year agreement reached with the prior owners, and that all of the company's contractual obligations are fulfilled. Thomas met with Arco Products Co. President William Rusnack and a spokesman for Rusnack said Arco might be willing to spend another $300,000-400,000 a year to increase its visibility in the arena, but not the $1M Thomas wants (SACRAMENTO BEE, 1/30).