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Sacramento, Kings Reach Deal On New Arena

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ORLANDO (CBS13/AP) – It looks like the Kings will be staying in Sacramento.

Mayor Kevin Johnson, the Maloofs and Commissioner David Stern announced they have a hand-shake agreement for a deal to build a new entertainment and sports complex for Sacramento and keep the Kings in the Capital City.

“It’s a great day for the city of Sacramento,” said Joe Maloof to reporters gathered at the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando where the Maloof family, Sacramento Mayor Johnson and NBA officials have been meeting for the last three days to try and hammer out a deal by a March 1 deadline set by the NBA.

CBS13’s Koula Gianulias is in Orlando and reports the team and city have “framework” of a stadium financing proposal.

“It’s game over, so our community should be really excited. I want to jump up and down,” Johnson said. “I’m very excited. It’s a new day for Sacramento. We’ve all been working around the clock to get to this point.”

Sources tell CBS13 there was $35 million gap when they came to the table this morning. They bridged the deal with the Maloofs upping their contribution from $50 million to $75 million up front. AEG helped by adding $10 million for a total contribution of $60 million.

Sports Illustrated reports that the Maloof family also said they could add an additional $60 million in future years.

The Sacramento City Council is expected to vote on the plan March 6.

The full financing plan will be made public by Thursday.

FANS REACT TO ARENA DEAL

Reaction to the tentative deal was quick, ricocheting through the Twittersphere.

Devin Blankenship, the Director of Media Relations for the Kings sent this tweet: “Was at my parents house with my 2 kids when I got the news this am. 3 generations of Sacramentans near tears. So happy for the city.”

And from Think Big Sacramento: “A new day for Sacramento! We have a framework for a deal!”

Local politicians also reacted to the news of the tentative agreement.

“This deal is great news and a big boost for the Sacramento region. I congratulate Mayor Johnson and the City Council, as the entire community came together and developed a blueprint of what they would like to see out of a downtown sports and entertainment complex,” said State Senator Darrell Steinberg. “When you bring a “can-do” attitude to negotiations, everybody wins.”

Despite attempts by Anaheim and Seattle to swoop in and lure the Kings, the fate of the franchise is in the hands of the Sacramento City Council – which has approved every arena measure to date under the current project. The arena, which would open for the 2015-16 season in the downtown Sacramento rail yards, is a vote away from breaking ground.

“I’ve had the great pleasure … of opening up two arenas and I’m looking forward to opening up a third in Sacramento,” Stern said. “I want the Maloof family to get back to Sacramento fast because I’ve asked them to get those renewals out for next season.”

The next step is for the arena deal to be voted on by city council.

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