Mayor Johnson Hopes To Present Deal To NBA Soon
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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Mayor Kevin Johnson revealed new developments Tuesday on the city’s effort to keep the Kings in Sacramento but he still hasn’t said whose money will back the deal.
Just as it is quiet here at Sleep Train Arena, it has been as equally quiet on the whale watching front. But Johnson says that does not mean the big investor is not going to breach soon.
“This is not a negative by any means. This is a complex deal,” he said.
That is because the mayor says a major investor is not only making a bid to buy the Kings but will also be paying millions to help build a new arena. And despite the bill likely to soar well over $400 million, Johnson says new investors keep knocking on the door
“There is probably not a day that goes by that I don’t hear from somebody that has the wherewithal to be a major and significant equity investor,” he said.
But while the line may be growing, time is ticking. The mayor will need to have his plan to save the Kings in by March 1.
“Our objective is to submit a fair and competitive offer as soon as possible to be in the position to explain to the NBA why Sacramento should remain an NBA city,” he said.
To help prove that case, fans are also stepping up. The Here We Stay campaign, known now as Here We Buy, is pushing fans to scoop up tickets to help sell out Sleep Train Arena on Saturday night for the Kings’ game against the Utah Jazz.
“Really what we want to do us say, ‘hey you (NBA) can’t afford to lose this market,” Kevin Fippin said.
But it’s more than just buying tickets for yourself…
“One of the ways we though we could do that would be to allow people to donate money to buy tickets for local kids and their families who wouldn’t get to go otherwise,” he said.
So far, some $3,400 has been raised – enough to pay for more than 200 tickets. A Kings spokesman says they still have several thousand tickets remaining for Saturday’s game.
Watch Mayor Johnson’s complete press conference
The mayor also says he plans to lobby NBA owners about the Kings staying in Sacramento during the NBA All-Star Game in Houston.
Also, shared my plans for All-Star Weekend in Houston. Gonna be pumping up Sac to anyone and everyone: owners, players, even mascots!
— Kevin Johnson (@KJ_MayorJohnson) February 5, 2013