Mayor Johnson Calls Arena Squabble With Maloofs ‘Very Disappointing’

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The celebratory tone Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson expressed over the new downtown arena deal about a month ago has drastically changed after the Kings’ owners say they have no intention on paying anything toward predevelopment costs.

Johnson appeared on “Good Day Sacramento” Tuesday morning, and while he said he expects the City Council to approve moving forward with the arena when it votes at its meeting later in the day, he said he was “very disappointed” in the turn of events.

The Maloofs say as tenants in the new railyards arena that the city would own, they shouldn’t be expected to pay the $3.26 million requested of them in the term sheet for predevelopment fees. Arena operator AEG would kick in another $3.26 million and the city’s share is $6.5 for consultant work prior to the actual construction of the sports and entertainment complex. That work is scheduled to start Wednesday pending a yes vote by the City Council on Tuesday.

“I would say this is slightly abnormal,” Johnson said in an interview with Koula Gianulias on the Good Day set Tuesday morning. “Normally, when you have a partnership and an agreement, everyone is celebrating, working together to get to the finish line. When you come out of Orlando (when the sides met during All-Star Weekend to negotiate a deal), the NBA is on board, the city is on board, AEG is on board. For some reason, the Maloofs are not on board. Very disappointing.”

A Los Angeles-based attorney representing the Maloofs issued a statement Monday night explaining the family’s position.

“The Kings saw the term sheet one week before the deadline and the Kings made it very clear to all parties that we are not going to pay predevelopment fees,” Eric W. Rose said. “That is one reason why we have never signed the term sheet.”

At his press conference Tuesday, Johnson called the Maloof’s disingenuous for saying that predevelopment costs were not part of the agreement.

Johnson was asked if it was time for the city to consider its Plan B, a new ownership group. Billionaire Ron Burkle’s name continues to come up, but the Maloofs have repeatedly said they’re not selling the team. The Maloofs have been asked to contribute $73 million toward the arena, but the NBA had to step in to commit to the first $200,000 in predevelopment money after the family refused to pay it.

“I will make a promise that Sacramento will not be caught flat-footed,” Johnson said on “Good Day.” “That’s what we’ve learned. We thought that all the heavy hurdles were behind us and that we were moving forward. The things that they’re saying publicly is one thing; what they’re doing privately is another, and I think Sacramento deserves much better.

He later added at his press conference that “We as a city won’t be jerked around.”

Kings attorney Rose issued another statement after Johnson’s comments on Tuesday, saying in part: “We do not understand Mayor Johnson’s frustration and instead of projecting, we hope that the mayor and city leaders will address the various issues that we have brought to their attention. We need the city to demonstrate to us that they can meet their own timeline of having a new arena built in time for the 2015 basketball season.”

A Maloof attorney sent the city a letter questioning whether the environmental impact review could be completed in time for the 2015 target date. State Senator Darrell Steinberg issued a statement Tuesday saying that such a process is feasible under AB 900, a bill he authored to help speed up the downtown arena construction.

“The Maloofs seem to be looking for every reason not to proceed as opposed to looking for ways to make it work,” he said in his statement. “With the proper mix of mass transit, energy efficiency, and other objectives there is no reason to believe this project couldn’t meet AB 900 requirements.”

George Maloof said last week that the family was still committed to Sacramento but had several unresolved issues with the arena term sheet. CBS13 tried to talk to Joe Maloof at the Kings’ game Monday night but he walked away from our camera.

Johnson said the sides have two weeks to resolve things and expects some decisions to come out of the NBA owners meetings in New York April 12-13.

“By April 17 we have to pay city dollars,” he said. “We’re not going to spend a city dollar until the predevelopment and everything else is resolved. The finish line keeps moving and that’s what’s disappointing to me.”


One Comment

  1. ....., says:

    I find Mayor Johnson’s crooked teeth very disappointing

  2. Uncle Bob says:

    Another example of the MaGoof brothers being the MaGoof brothers …

    Can we get Stern to force the MaGoofs to sell the Kings like MLB forced McCourt to sell the Dodgers?

    1. elliott the Cat says:

      The Ma-goof chumps still owe 30 million fron yester years !

      Mayor Johnson should ( Think Big ) About the Sacramento Citizens !

      Save the cities tax money, make the Ma-goofs pay Sac back and develop jobs jobs jobs !

      1. AJ says:

        I think they actually owe upwards of 70 million from an old debt to the city.

  3. Phil says:

    This has been an all around circle jerk, and Sacramento and it’s fans are the ones being jerked. Wake up, let’s get rid of the Ma Loof’s and all they stand for.

    1. Yes says:

      So true………………

  4. swim says:

    Can we please finally get rid of these leaches? The King’s lose far more games than win consistently. Why? The Maloof’s sell any player worth their pay for a quick buck. Now they are winging over having to pay 3 million to get themselves a quarter billion dollar arena. They haven’t even signed a promise to keep the Kings here, so you can bet if a better cash cow comes along they are so out of here.

  5. Plain Facts says:

    The “Ma Criminals” have been sticking it to the Sac area and fans for years…why are you surprised when they don’t pony up?? Had the Sac area fans “woke up” and no one bought their season tickets and boycotts these guys, we would be rid of these dead beats and they would be bankrupt!! Stop lining their pockets.

  6. ZenMan says:

    Apparently someone is not receptive to pay any part of a $6,500,000.00 Pre-Development fee to find out whether this Arena Plan will actually work.
    I wonder why.

  7. jkarnofsky says:

    I want to see the Maloofs pay Sacramento the money they ALREADY owe before they make any new commitments that they may try to weasel out of..

    From what I understand, MLB is not forcing the sale of the Dodgers; it is being imposed by the divorce/bankruptcy courts as the team package is highly leveraged by the soon to be former McCourts. MLB still has ultimate say so to approve the buyers; who are at this point being led by Magic Johnson in a HUGE deal. ($2B+).

    The 2 situations are nothing alike; and as far as I am concerned; the Kings and Maloofs can take a long walk off a short pier if the city has to pay anything to keep them here.

  8. rmcsticks says:

    Keven : Pony up and tell the people what’s really in it for you ? Any good major would have sent them packing already !

    1. Jim Moore says:

      Damn right.

  9. WisenCynical says:

    Maloofs need to stay in Vegas.. What happens in Vegas should STAY in Vegas.

  10. Cal says:

    The Maloof’s committed to spending $73M for the new project?…Dont they already owe US $70+ Million? So basically they will owe us over $140M in total….I personally don’t think they have that kind of money.

    With that said….If I was just a TENANT of a building (no matter on what scale), I wouldn’t pay a dime for the building to be built either!

  11. Sally says:

    LOSERS and COWARDS get your ugly self out of Sacramento and take your loser drug infested boozers and drug user players with you You all suck

  12. stan atkinson says:

    That money would cut into the Maloof’s cocaine money.

  13. ihatethenannystate says:

    don’t we have more important things to worry about. why would the city council even think about spending money the city DOESN’T have for this garbage!!!

    1. Matt says:

      The city does have it…mostly from profits when they sold the Sheraton.

  14. Mike says:

    The Maloof’s do not care about keeping the team in Sacramento, and if you are one of the fan’s that do then you are just as stupid as them. They want this all to happen only if they get what they want for FREE!

    1. JT says:

      More like AEG is paying more for the arena so it shouldn’t even call the kings arena or Maloofs the Maloofs needs to leave or something if they can’t pay anymore still they still owe money to the City Of Sac so they shouldn’t even say we don’t have to pay the $3.26 million, but i guess AEG is going to pay the 3.26 million dollars.

  15. Tom says:

    Sell this team to Anaheim alreadfy, the MaCrooks have stuck the city with every possible cost and still owe millions, the tax payer is giving them millions so they can become even richer, how’d you like a 3 million $ to help your business? We are doing WITHOUT basics like park maintenance, police officers, firemen and an adequate sewer system. But we have a blank check for Billioniares??? Why is this even being discussed? Vote KJ and the crooked City council OUT!!! They got $ from these crooks, not the voters.

  16. MR BRUTHAMAN says:


  17. MR BRUTHAMAN says:


  18. K. Johnston says:

    My fellow citizens. I realize a lot of this doesn’t make sense, But s.c.r.e.w you and your Families, I’m here for the ching ching!!

  19. impeach johnson says:

    The taxpayers vote down a proposal to not build an arena TWICE. Kevin Johson decides to sell City owned property to help fiance the Arena and now the city will have to eat over 3 million dollars. Tell me how this is any different than raising our taxes? Kevin Johnson should be finished as mayor after this!

  20. fact check says:

    hey naysayers, did you know the arena deal will bring in outside business, tax revenue and jobs? true story

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