Kevin Johnson Announces Sacramento Deal with New Arena for Kings

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIMarch 23, 2013

SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 19:  A general view of the Sacramento Kings playing against the Golden State Warriors at Sleep Train Arena on December 19, 2012 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The Sacramento Kings might not be moving to Seattle after all.

According to the latest reports from Sacramento Major Kevin Johnson, a new arena deal has reportedly been agreed upon, which would mean the Kings no longer have to move—something that will no doubt come as great news for Kings fans.

According to Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver, Johnson has agreed on a deal with developers to upgrade the Downtown Plaza:

“I’m pleased to announce an agreement with [the] Burkle-Mastrov-Ranadive group on a public-private partnership to build a new [entertainment and sports complex] at [the] Downtown Plaza Mall,” Johnson wrote on Twitter.

“Consistent w/our core tenets, the deal avoids new taxes, protects the City on the Kings loan, and ensures no net impact to the general fund.”

Johnson added that the investment group, which includes 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov, billionaire Ron Burkle and TIBCO chairman Vivek Ranadive will “make a 35-year commitment to keep the Sacramento Kings right here where they belong!

The Sacramento Bee added further specifics about the $448 million deal, with the city set to contribute $258 million towards the deal. That will likely be in the form of "bonding against its downtown parking garage future revenues, and by selling several downtown parcels to developers".

The other $190 million will come from the development team (Ron Burkle, 24 Hour Fitness' Mark Mastrov and entrepreneur Vivek Ranadive).

Which no doubt comes as great news for Kings fans.

The Kings have sold out 19 of their past 27 seasons in Sacramento, which, given their lack of on-court success, is a testament to the support the franchise has. They also own two of the longest sellout streaks in NBA history (per the Los Angeles Times)—something that could very well continue with a new deal.

The deal still needs at least two more key components to fall into place before it is official, as city council and the Maloof family (which owns the Kings) must respectively sign off on the deal. Yet neither of those are expected to take too long, with the Maloof family likely to be keen on wrapping up the deal—much like it was when the original relocation to Seattle was discussed.

Having already agreed on a deal in principle with the Seattle group before, the Maloof family will still need to be sold on the new deal and could end up in a bidding war between the Seattle group and the Sacramento conglomerate regarding the future of the Kings' franchise.

Yet judging by the latest responses from those involved in the new deal, they seem pretty confident that the Kings, for now anyway, will be staying in Sacramento.


What do you make of the new arena deal for the Kings?

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