NBA Advances Money For Pre-Development Costs After Kings Owners Balk
The NBA Thursday “came to the rescue of Sacramento’s arena deal, agreeing to advance about $200,000 in pre-development costs” after Kings Owners the Maloof family “balked at paying the money,” according to Bizjak & Kasler of the SACRAMENTO BEE. This money represents the “first installment of the Kings’ share of pre-development costs totaling $3.26 million.” Maloof spokesperson Eric Rose said that the team “does not feel that it should share in predevelopment costs because the team is only a tenant in the building, which would be owned by the city.” Rose: “The team should not be responsible for the predevelopment expenses. That has been the position of the Kings from the start.” But the term sheet agreed upon by the city, team and NBA states that the Maloof family “agreed in principle to pay $73.25 million ‘toward development and construction of the (arena).’” Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said that he “expects the Maloof [family] to make good on that agreement, even though it is not legally binding.” Kings co-Owner George Maloof “downplayed any notion that the deal may be collapsing.” Maloof: “We had some general feasibility questions for the city” (SACBEE.com, 3/29). Bizjak & Kasler in a separate piece write in a “wild day of behind the scenes activity, the Sacramento arena deal hit a major snag Thursday, then was rescued late in the day” by NBA Commissioner David Stern. The intervention by Stern -- “the second in a month's time -- appears to have resolved what could have been a deal-ending stalemate.” Thursday's events “renewed bitter feelings that had surfaced last year between the city and the team owners when the Maloofs attempted to move the team to Anaheim.” Maloof said, “The way we look at things, nothing's ever a deal breaker if you have the desire and the intent, which we do. It's part of the negotiations ... We've always maintained that this is a negotiation" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 3/30).
EXPLORE ALL OPTIONS: In L.A., Lance Pugmire reports the Maloof family has raised concerns about Sacramento's "ability to build a new arena complex in Sacramento by the 2015 NBA season." Rose said that if those concerns "aren't met the team will consider relocation again.” The Maloofs are also “disputing that they have a firm agreement to participate in a new entertainment and sports complex in Sacramento.” Rose said, "If an arena project cannot be completed by the timeline set by the city, then the Kings would be forced to explore all of their options." City officials, in a letter Tuesday to the Maloofs family’s attorney, acknowledged that “they are working to ease the owners' questions and concerns’” (L.A. TIMES, 3/30).