SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Mayor Kevin Johnson’s Plan B to build a new downtown Sacramento arena is dead.
Johnson confirmed that Tuesday when he announced AEG, the Southern California-based sports and entertainment company, won’t invest in the project without the Sacramento Kings or another pro sports team involved in the deal.
It was the mayor’s last ditch effort at his dream project in the works for years, but the math didn’t add up for investor AEG without that anchor tenant.
“We felt it was a generational opportunity for our community,” he said. “There will be no strong commitment going forward without an anchor tenant in terms of a downtown arena.
AEG agreed in February to invest nearly $60 million in the railyards arena project, but when the Maloofs backed out of the handshake deal a month later, Johnson scrambled to salvage the arena.
The mayor says he asked AEG if it would consider duplicating what it did in Kansas City – investing in an arena without an anchor tenant.
The answer was no.
“They just say in this market, in this economy, they took a risk, in Kansas City and it panned out, but it’s not a risk they’d like to take over and over again without an anchor tenant,” the mayor said.
But Johnson says AEG is willing to pick up right where it left off if the Maloofs sell to a willing owner or if a new professional sports franchise comes to town.
“They believe very strongly in this market, they believe very strongly in this community, but they didn’t feel it was feasible, and they didn’t feel like the economics penciled out,” he said.