SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – For the first time in two years, the president of arena operator AEG spoke publicly Tuesday about why the company is investing millions in a new $391 million Sacramento sports and entertainment complex downtown.

Representatives from AEG were in town meeting with the Maloofs and Mayor Kevin Johnson.

“Don’t ask me about the arena. I’m not the arena spokesperson, but it’s going well,” Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof told CBS13 during the team’s win over Memphis on Tuesday night.

Earlier in the day, the head of the company said AEG is ready to invest nearly $60 million in the new arena because AEG believes Sacramento is the best NBA market in the country.

“A lot of people in the industry think we’re wrong here, they’re betting against us with this Sacramento investment,” Tim Leiweke said. “We are willing to bet on Sacramento. We’ve never failed with an arena, ever, and it’s not going to start here. We believe in this community.”

“We’re going to get this built,” he added. “We’re going to be a good citizen, a good neighbor and we will have one of the great arenas, not just in the United States, but anywhere is the world. And Sacramento will be a different community.”

He also says the project will be profitable for both AEG and the city.

“If we don’t make money, it will be the first time in AEG history,” Leiweke said.

AEG operates 130 facilities around the world. Among those are seven NBA arenas, including the Staples Center in Los Angeles, home to the Lakers and Clippers.

Johnson said AEG has proven to be the best at what it does in the world.

“We had to prove to AEG that Sacramento is a market worth investing in,” he said. “One year later, AEG was on board.”

Leiweke added that the Los Angeles-based company was committed to California.

“This is our home state,” Leiweke said. “We are based here, we pay taxes here and are committed to putting people in our state back to work.”

Johnson has said the downtown railyards project will add 4,000 jobs.

Comments (10)
  1. charlie says:

    what is pathetic is the fact that tax payers play a big role in this endeavor. I would say that an honorable person with integrity would not take those kinds of risks. I would hope people responsible in government would hold taypayer money sacred than these tactics. johnson seems to be more of a lobbyist for sports enthusists than mayor of a city.

  2. Eightcats Home says:

    A good place to take a look at the risks of dealing with AEG is in the New Yorker, January 16, 2012. It’s available for viewing at the magazine’s archive and every library in Sacramento County should have a paper copy that recent. Be aware the online is not free for download. The article starts on page 47.

  3. b says:

    This won’t be affecting tax payers. You will not notice a difference now vs. when the arena is built except more jobs and a revitalized downtown.

  4. Retired old Guy says:

    Sure it may be a good investment for AEG when the City puts up the bulk of the money for the project and has a no lose contract for overruns etc. And the city sold out it’s profitable parking business for 50 years to cover AEG’s Azz. The Mayor should be in jail for derelict of duty in giving away the City for his own personal interests, The City will regret this foolish, ignorant decision in the not too distant future…..and AEG will live happily ever after.

  5. a voice for a better tomorrow! says:

    You guys really like living in a dead end place? Imagen want Sacramento would be like if we did not have the Kings at all? I do believe in the old saying that it takes money to make money! I have learned that from people who made a lot of money! You need to invest in you selfs, your home, your city! If you build a reason for people to come down town then they will! If you don’t like growing and making you city a better place well then move away!

    1. Hank A, says:

      Sacramento was a nice place before the kings came here. It’s still a decent place to live, but there is a lot more crime, traffic, and pollution. NEWSFLASH: If the kings left town, Sacramento would survive ! I’m sick and tired of all you people claiming that without the new arena Sacramento would be some sort of ghost town with tumbleweeds blowing all over the city. The city is cutting back on police and fire department personnel, parks, schools, you know, the things that a city is supposed to furnish, but the clown mayor gets off his azz to get a new arena. I wish he worked as hard on real city matters as hard as he has on getting this new arena built !!! TO ALL YOU PEOPLE WHO WANT TO LIVE IN A WORLD CLASS CITY… MOVE TO ONE OF THEM !! There are a lot of people here who don’t want all the increases in crime, traffic, pollution, etc.

  6. Rudy_in_Sac says:

    I love all the whiners and know-it-alls out there who complain about every little thing that goes on.. Get a life and enjoy the new arena when it’s completed. If the arena was never approved, and the Kings moved out of Sacramento, they would all find something new to complain about the very next day. The best part is how they all think the Arena is just for the Kings, when in reality, the Kings only play 41 games a year here,, that leaves 324 more days worth of events morons.. And if you guys are so smart and know it all, get off your computer and run for office,, a frickin’ jock did it and look what he accomplished,, more than you ever will

    1. Hank A, says:

      Here’s a question for you: Why is it only the city of Sacramento that’s paying for about two-thirds of the cost of the new arena/entertainment complex ? Don’t people from outside the city of Sacramento go to kings games, concerts, and other events at the current arena ? OTHER CITIES AND COUNTIES SHOULD BE HELPING WITH PAYING FOR THIS NEW BUILDING !!!! Also, after the new arena is built, the vast majority of all these jobs you claim will be available are your basic minimum wage jobs working in some bar/eatery where you’ll be bringing people their burgers, fries, and drinks before or after the event. BIG EFFING DEAL !!!

  7. Whitey says:

    Let me tell you what’s even more pathetic, Charlie… people like you coming here to whine when you’re uneducated and uninformed about the entire process. This isn’t a “sports” arena… it’s an entertainment complex that will serve the community in many ways.

    Now, if you have any “tax” facts you want to present… we’re all ears here.

  8. Whitey says:

    Hank, thanks for all your wisdom! Since you have all the answers I’ll just vote your way next election. Better still, why don’t I just slit my throat over the thought of people like you spewing ignorance and negativity? I mean, without people like you there’d be no stagnation and mediocrity.

    People from other CITIES AND COUNTIES will be paying for this… they’re the ones buying tickets, meals, parking, etc.

    And I’m sure all the menial labor people appreciate you dogging them for working in restaurants. Perhaps they could use the medical benefits, 401k and salaries to feed their families? Or would you rather they stay home and let us pay their rent?

    People like you are the problem here. Does that answer your question?

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