Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson says the City and
prospective bidders are continuing to "do their due diligence" as
they try to form a partnership that will make a bid for the Kings
and finance a downtown arena, "We're very familiar with the
Railyards site. It's something we studied. We had a deal in
place. In terms of Downtown Plaza, we're just trying to get smart
on it. We don't know what's being proposed. In fact, we don't
know if the equity investors are going to choose Downtown Plaza or
the Railyards site."
The Mayor has put off announcing the prospective partners
repeatedly and says March first is the absolute deadline to have a
deal in place. Johnson says he has been contacted with at
least one offer each day from a different party interested in
joining the City's effort. The City is compiling a list of
those people and will contact them about joining the ownership
group once a major equity partner has been determined.
The Mayor will informally lobby National Basketball
Association owners at the league's all star game in Houston this
weekend. He will pitch them on the merits of keeping the
Kings in Sacramento, "Anybody who will allow me to talk about the
merits of Sacramento; rest assured, they will hear it. I'm
going to be lobbying the mascots. Anybody who will listen,
certainly, we're going to state our case."
Johnson says the bankruptcy case of Sacramento Kings minority
owner Bob Cook has not altered negotiations between the City and
prospective new owners of the team. But the Mayor does say
the availability of Cook's seven percent ownership in the team has
sparked a lot of activity.
"There's a lot of people interested in it, a lot of people
trying to understand how that might factor in. It's just a
little premature to ultimately have a clear idea on how that's
gonna play out. "
Cook's shares go on the auction block April
9th. The new owners of those shares could attempt
to use their position to block a competing bid for the