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Crucial Week Ahead For Fate Of Sacramento Arena Project

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A crucial meeting this week in New York City is expected to decide the fate of the downtown Sacramento arena project.

All the major players in the railyards arena deal – the city, the Maloofs, AEG and the NBA – are all saying the same thing: that they want to get a deal done and move forward for a 2015 arena opening.

However, the Kings’ owners have already balked at paying their share of predevelopment costs and say they have other issues with the non-binding term sheet that was agreed upon about five weeks ago.

Later this week, the Maloofs and the NBA will discuss the project at the Board of Governors meeting with the hope of sorting out financing issues in time for a crucial City Council vote on April 17 on whether to proceed with using city money on the sports and entertainment complex.

We know the Maloofs, at the request of the NBA, will be making a presentation to owners at the meeting. What they’re presenting, the family isn’t saying. Their spokesperson told us this isn’t a public debate, but a negotiation between the city and the Kings.

George Maloof issued a brief statement on Monday, saying “We are continuing to work on the deal and preparing for our meeting in New York.”

The other question: will Kevin Johnson attend? The mayor’s staff says at this time he has no plans to go.

But johnson is in the Boston area this week, around 200 miles from New York, where he’s speaking to classes at Harvard University. He’s also not holding his tuesday weekly news conference.

Still, his staff says we shouldn’t read anything into that.

Meanwhile in Anaheim, where the Maloofs nearly moved to after last season, the Honda Center remains ready to bring in an NBA team. We’ve been told there have been no recent discussions between the Maloofs and Anaheim, but the Honda Center has been approved by the city for 60 more event days next year – specifically, to have enough days for an NBA preseason, regular season, and playoffs.

The NBA’s Board of Governors meetings are schedules for Thursday and Friday, and CBS13’s Ben Sosenko will be in New York to cover the developments.

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