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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento was the first stop for a new NBA commissioner who says he’s not worried about politics getting in the way of a new Sacramento Kings arena.
Adam Silver took over from outgoing NBA Commissioner David Stern earlier this month, and he dismissed any concerns that a downtown Sacramento Kings arena will run into problems.
“I’m so confident, because I’ve known Kevin Johnson for over 20 years,” Silver said. “And talking to Vivek and his partners, I’m confident it’s going to get done.”
The arena in downtown Sacramento is slated to break ground this summer with a projected opening date of October 2016.
Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork gathered signatures asking to put a $258 million public subsidy for the arena to a June vote. If voters approved that measure, the subsidy would be on the November ballot.
However, Sacramento’s city clerk rejected the group’s petitions, saying there were inconsistencies and errors on them. STOP has since filed a lawsuit on the matter and a court date was set for Feb. 21.
Owner Vivek Ranadive stood next to Silver and was just as confident.
“We’re going to be on schedule with this arena,” he said. “I know they’re called STOP. This is a go. It’s going to be a go all the way.”
Besides downplaying the lawsuits filed against the city over the subsidy, Silver reassured Kings fans that he will follow David Stern’s lead supporting Sacramento as an NBA city.
“I’ve been right there with David, in the meetings,” he said. “Vivek and I have been in regular touch since he bought the franchise.”
Silver’s visit to Sacramento comes one week after the Kings released new arena renderings. He says he likes them.
“I think most importantly, the grandness of the opening,” he said. “It’s what Vivek calls the indoor-outdoor look where they create a large concourse.”
As for NBA 3.0, Ranadive made sure he got a question in for the new commissioner asking about his first overseas trip.
“Well, one of the things Vivek and I have been talking about is a trip to India,” Silver said.