By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Mayor Kevin Johnson and the Maloofs were both clearly emotional today as they announced a deal to build a new arena in Sacramento.

Going into the meeting today, there was a $35 million funding gap that made a deal seem unlikely. But then the Maloofs, who promised to kick in $50 millionagreed to pony up nearly $75 million in upfront cash.

The Maloofs also agreed to pay off a $67 million loan to the city.

AEG, the company that would manage and operate the arena, agreed to offer an additional $10 million today, and raised their offer to $60 million.

It may be a score for Sacramento, but at his first practice back from the all-star break, Kings head coach Keith Smar talked Xs and Os.

“What can we do on the floor?” said Smart.

Not dotting the Is and crossing the Ts of an arena deal, he claims no one gave him any inside scoop.

“I waited for the news, watched it on the news, it was all star weekend. I was busy with basketball with my sons,” said Smart.

I asked Kings veteran Donte Greene if the players were pumped and if it mattered where the arena was built.

“Maybe not location, but it would be nice to have a new arena, it’s getting pretty bad,” said Greene.

Rookie Isaiah Thomas grew up in Seattle. He knows what no arena can mean for a city.

“The only thing I knew, if they wasn’t gonna get an arena, we were going to leave. Cause that’s what happened with the Sonics,” said Thomas. “I experienced that being in high school.”

But this all-star break led to an arena breakthrough.

“Oh, I’m very happy. I do not want to lose the kings. I love you,” said Kings fan Jean Chavez.

“They give us public pride, they give us entertainment,” said Rick Woodbridge, a kings fan.

As for those other cities offering the Maloofs their kingdom?

“Anything you want to say to Anaheim or Seattle? Take a number, take a number, Sacramento say go king,” said Joe Hernandez, a Kings fan.

Comments (5)
  1. Phil says:

    Now wait for the real bills for this Arena, Than watch how the city and the Ma Goff’s work things out. This should be interesting to say the least. The tax payers better be wearing their seatbelts. Schools, Police and any others from the General fund had better tighten their belts also.

    1. bobby5 says:

      To even hint that giving up your number one asset is a sound business decision is absurd.

  2. pete says:

    yea the checks in the mail

  3. Whitey says:

    Awe… licking your wounds you uninformed sheep? Sacramento is a major city and every major city has a nice venue. There’s a reason for that. Seattle didn’t build one and now they’re finally figuring it out. Money to build this arena isn’t coming from the general fund and it’s wouldn’t have gone to police, fire, teachers or hums on the street. It’s private dollars, you dopes, so what part of that don’t you understand?!

    You people are idiots. If you don’t want growth there’s always Stockton. They’re getting ready to hire 40 more cops… even though bankruptcy is coming next week.

  4. Cindy C says:

    I am thrilled about the arena deal. I applaud the Maloof’s and our Mayor. This will be awesome for Sacramento.

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