City Council Approves Kings Arena Deal





SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The lengthy and sometimes-futile effort by the Kings, the NBA and local leaders to build a new arena and keep the team in town cleared its final major hurdle Tuesday night as the City Council voted 7-2 to approve the term sheet on a $391-million building scheduled to open in September 2015.

The decision, with approximately 250 fans and Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof and point guard Isaiah Thomas in attendance, effectively ends the 2011 bid by Anaheim to lure the team to Southern California and recent hopes in Seattle that renewed plans for an arena there could lead to a replacement for the SuperSonics. Anaheim’s pursuit the second half of last season had been so close to completion that Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson sounded resigned to defeat in March and the final home game of the regular season felt more like a wake as thousands from the passionate fan base stayed in Power Balance Pavilion long after the final buzzer.

Nearly 11 months later, the greatest off-court comeback in NBA history is virtually complete. The council vote, while non-binding until an environmental report is finalized, clears the way for the city to move forward on several key fronts and essentially ends any serious threat of the Kings moving. The project to build the 18,500-seat arena downtown, a few miles south of the current location, is scheduled to begin within 30 days.

“A year ago,” Johnson said near the end of the debate and vote that lasted nearly four hours, “this was the longest of long shots.”

Afterward, addressing reporters and fans in the lobby of City Hall in a combination press conference-pep rally, the former Suns All-Star point guard said, “This is the culmination of a journey that started a long time ago” and called getting the fifth vote from the council to secure the majority “like we won a championship in Sacramento.”

As part of the agreement the team, the league and the city brokered during All-Star weekend in Orlando, the Kings are required to stay in Sacramento for 30 years.

“Tonight’s vote was an important next step in the process to construct a new entertainment and sports complex in Sacramento,” the Maloofs said in a statement released moments after the vote. “On behalf of our entire family and the Kings organization, we want to thank everyone who helped move this forward, especially the NBA, City Council, Mayor Kevin Johnson, the Think Big Sacramento Committee [formed to help get an arena deal], and most importantly, our dedicated employess and loyal fans. We’re all excited.”

In a related development, local hopes that a new arena in place of Power Balance Pavilion will lead to Sacramento landing an All-Star weekend are very premature with the city still believed to be far short of the necessary upscale hotel rooms and perhaps convention space as well. That has always been the primary holdup, not an outdated building.



20 Comments

  1. Ed says:

    Well I guess the talks of landing an all star game are premature…..not even sure why the writer wrote that? The arena is still 3 years from completion…duh. Maybe in 5 or so years those issues will have been addressed.

  2. Kmac says:

    im from Auburn, CA just north of Sac and couldn’t be happier…(till we get that ring)

  3. Ant says:

    Good! We don’t need another NBA team in So. CA. ;)

  4. lilrkt says:

    Thanks to all who worked so hard to make this happen. It’s a brand new day in Sacramento- -for the Kings and for all future efforts to land business in our city.

  5. jayo0 says:

    i’m glad that the sacremento kings are going to get a new arena. i just hope that the kings can get winning seasons,championships, and superstars in their future arena.

  6. joe says:

    I’m from cleveland, but i love the nba and i am glad that the kings are staying in sacramento. since i was a kid they were there and i hope it stays. its just right for the nba

  7. Ty says:

    Congrats to all the Kings fans!

  8. jc says:

    Finally- this is going to be good for sacto, the team and then city

  9. Casey MC says:

    Happy to say I was there and have been in the battle this whole year. Sacramento has pride that the rest of the world can see after last night. True Kings fans never get up, #FANS #HereWeStayed

  10. Tony says:

    The best day in Sacramento history since the kings made it to the western nba finals in 2002!! A new era in Sacramento begins!

  11. Kisses says:

    Arena Deal is done, now time to fill up the pieces to build another “2002 Kings” Team

  12. Avery says:

    Congratulations! now time to build a great team! i think the nba should consider the idea of another big sacramento team in the next years’ picture, why not?

  13. Bill says:

    A Lakers fan but very pleased for you guys and your team to be staying put in sacramento, hopefully we can relive those old rival days in the near future!

    • Barbara says:

      Bill, you are a true gentleman…looking forward to reliving the old rivalry! HERE WE STAY!!! GO KINGS!

  14. Andy says:

    Hoping that the municipality and the taxpayers won’t spend a dime for it.

  15. Rob says:

    #HereWeStay

  16. groundpatty says:

    Congrats, Kings fans!!! Sincerely, I am really happy for you. From one fan of a franchise often drowning in relocation rumors to another (Hornets fan here), I’m glad you won’t have to deal with any of that BS anymore.

    Only problem is, the target on the Hornets just got bigger. haha but really, congrats. Hopefully the fans down here in NOLA have some similar reasons for celebration within the coming weeks.

  17. vir says:

    yeah it seems like the kings are doing well and they should do also.

  18. Rafael says:

    WE’RE ALMOST THERE!!! THANK YOU KEVIN JOHNSON AND CITY COUNCIL, THANK YOU KINGS AND THE MALOOFS, THANK YOU AEG AND THANK YOU SACRAMENTO!!! THIS WILL REVITALIZE OUR DOWNTOWN AND OUR REGION LIKE NOTHING ELSE!!!

  19. Sactown's Finest says:

    What a historic day for us citizens of SACRAMENTO! We’re fortunate to be able to keep OUR SACRAMENTO KINGS in our city. Major props goes out to MAYOR KEVIN JOHNSON, The Maloofs, AEG, Thing Big Sacramento, and every single Kings fan for supporting our team throughout this whole adventure.

    WE DID IT! #HereWeStayed #GoKings #KingsAllDay