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Vote on Arena Deal Could be Delayed

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, March 25, 2013

Mayor Kevin Johnson says the terms of the deal released this weekend are better than the terms the Council agreed to last year, "We're not the developer in this case. We're not in charge of all the pre-development expenses.  We're not on the hook for overruns and overcharges.  All those things make it much certain deal and minimize or mitigate the risk from the city's standpoint."

The mayor and council members met with two of the primary investors -Mark Mastrov and Ron Burkle- in person Monday morning as part of a series of meetings on the project. 

But, Councilman Steve Hansen says he will not support a vote on the terms at the Tuesday meeting.  He says the public has not had enough time to review the contents of the agreement, "This is a new deal at a new site and I think, legitimately, we as trustees for the city have to do our job.  And our job is to ask difficult questions and make sure the public is looked after."

Councilman Steve Cohn says he is comfortable with the term sheet as it is and would prefer to vote on it Tuesday as scheduled, but he's open to alternatives, "...indicate preliminary action maybe on Tuesday but see if we can allow for further dialogue on Thursday. We'll consider that, but time really is of ethe essence in terms of the NBA Board of Governors so we have to weigh that into any time extension."

There is the possibility that a second bid could still be made for the team from a group interested in keeping the Kings in Sacramento.  One of the Kings' minority owners, John Kehriotis says he hopes to have a competing bid ready to present to the City Council Tuesday.

Several council members say they would support a privately-financed arena in Natomas over a partially-public-funded arena in downtown Sacramento. 

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