SACRAMENTO CITY COUNCIL WRESTLES WITH KINGS DECISION
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).