SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — What a difference a year makes.
At this point last year, Mayor Kevin Johnson didn’t know if the Sacramento Kings would stay in town, or be sent to Seattle.
This year, the deal to keep the team was the focal point of his State of the City address.
Calling it Sacramento’s year of the groundbreaking, Johnson celebrated keeping the team and spoke at length about the public funding for the planned arena.
The mayor also poked fun at the political group Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork, who is trying to put the $258 million public subsidy to a vote.
“We have to finish what we started, and we must ensure that nothing stops us from doing that. Did I just go there?” Johnson said, making a reference to the group’s acronym.
Opponents of the subsidy say the figure is artificially low and that the true subsidy is actually millions more.
Kings owner Vivek Ranadive says the arena deal he made is based on the $258 million figure.
“The deal I made is when the council voted 7-2 on the term sheet,” he said. “I’m holding up my end of the deal.”
Ranadive didn’t answer whether the Kings arena could be purely privately funded.
“That’s not the why the NBA structured it,” he said.
The mayor also added that the $258 million public figure could change.
Also unveiled Wednesday were four new looks at the possible Sacramento Kings arena.