With potential arena operator AEG backing out of any future arena plan that did not include a major tenant, local news is reporting that Mayor KJ and his “Think Big” group are planning to pursue Major League Baseball. Specifically, it appears the Mayor is planning to seek the Oakland Athletics franchise. (Apparently the group doesn’t “Think Big” about hypocrisy.)
As this is still a town that was too dysfunctional to acquire a Minor League team, losing the River Cats to West Sac, I don’t know how they can promote this with a straight face. I think forcing the River Cats out of Raley Field would be a colossal mistake even if Sacto could support an MLB franchise, a question to which everyone except apparently the Mayor and the people advising him knows the answer: No it can’t.
But even as the arena negotiations were falling apart the Mayor had no problem getting reelected. So don’t expect the pro sports silliness to cease anytime soon.
Matthew Schmidt, checking in for Bleacher Report, makes the case that the Kings will be able to contend for the 8th playoff spot in the Western Conference in 2013. His ambitious claim is based on a prediction that Cousins will continue his rise and give us a 20 and 12 season, and that the backcourt of Evans/Thornton/Thomas will also improve their play. He barely takes Thomas Robinson into account.
Personally I don’t think he’s that far off. Cousins and Thomas are really exciting, and adding Evans and Thornton almost makes up for the lack of a true small forward.
What do you think, is the future looking bright for the Kings? More importantly: would it only serve to make them a better investment for another city?
Ryan Lillis, one of the Bee’s big three reporters doing actual professional journalism on the topic of the arena, reports today that Mayor Kevin Johnson and Kings co-owner George Maloof have decided on a sit down meeting this week to discuss possibly reviving the DOA arena deal.
Reading that this morning, the question you might have is does the Mayor actually do anything except work on this arena deal? When is the last time you remember hearing the Mayor’s name in connection to anything except this problem. I’m only being somewhat facetious as this is big news in these parts and maybe it is getting squeezed out. But somehow I doubt that KJ is out there working on anything else.
The big news yesterday was the latest snag in the arena deal, which came when the Maloofs suddenly read the non-binding term sheet we all had already stopped talking about weeks ago, and realized they were on the hook for some development funds. Today Tony Bizjak and Dale Kasler report that David Stern is planning to pick up part of the tab to make sure initial work can get done.
A pessimistic person would say that this is just the first line in the sand drawn by the Maloofs, and that if they resolve this issue it’ll just be something else down the road. I am trying not to be that guy. For instance, who says that one of the tenants of a building that will be owned by someone else should have to pay for infrastructure? Maybe there is a better deal that takes away some of those costs and puts a corresponding amount in profits back into the city’s bank account.
Want to kill public support for a big arena project? Start rumor you’re going to trade the team’s best player. Tom Ziller of Sactown Royalty posted an impassioned plea for sanity last night in the face of rumors to that effect being published by Sports Illustrated and former Bee writer Sam Amick.
Ziller takes apart the situation and calls for patience with Evans adjustment to his new role on the team. It’s a great read, as per usual with TZ, and it does make one frustrated with the Kings management. I know next to nothing about these things but it seems to me that a great way to show thanks to folks who put a lot on the line to craft an amazing deal for these owners would be to invest in the team’s future by signing a big free agent at the end of the season.
Today’s reporting in the Bee by Bizjak and Lillis has some dissection of the City’s stance on what to do about the current Power Balance Pavilion location once a proposed new downtown arena gets built.
Council member Ashby assures her constituents that reuse of the arena site after 2015 is “part of the deal.” But there is the little problem of the land being unsuitable for development due to flood risk. Gee, I wonder when City officials and landowners expect that moratorium to be lifted? Continue reading “City has big plans for Power Balance site”
I had the whole weekend to stew on the arena terms sheet, fueled by Cosmo Garvin’s great piece on the math of the thing on the SNOG Blog, and bolstered by Isaac Gonzalez’s excellent takedown of the “good, bad and the ugly” aspects of the proposal. I wanted to get my final thoughts out there before the proposal passes at tonight’s meeting.
Kelly Johnson of the Biz Journal reported yesterday that City Council hopes to release the details of the arena financing proposal on Thursday, in advance of the Council’s vote next Tuesday.
The main takeaway from the piece seems to be that the mayor confirms AEG would be the operator of the arena under the proposal. I suppose that is a good thing? It doesn’t seem to be very important to me.
I still don’t think the numbers add up. The original figure of $387 million always seemed about $100m too low; Seattle was planning to raise $500 for their evil Chris Hansen funded arena. And I don’t think anybody expects the Maloofs to pony up very much–NBA commissioner David Stern said yesterday that the team will contribute, but also that he would consider AEG’s contribution to be a contribution on behalf of the team.
Very little reason for optimism going into next Tuesday.
On the agenda for tonight’s City Council meeting is a motion to select 10 of the 13 bidders who sent in responses in pursuit of the City’s proposed plan to lease parking operations rights to raise money for a new arena. It’s at the bottom of the agenda, and it’s a purely procedural item but if recent meetings are any indication, folks will most likely show up for the Public Comment ready to talk.
If you want to follow along, you should be able to tune to Channel 15 or stream it live. But I also recommend following a few folks on Twitter who will most likely be discussing/snarking on the proceedings. Not just professional journos like The Bee’s Ryan Lillis (@ryan_lillis) and SN&R’s Nick Miller (@NickMillerSNR) and sports folks like Carmichael Dave (@CarmichaelDave), but also normals like Michael Minnick (@SacraMINNICK), Kevin Fippin (@kfippin) and our old blogger pal Maya (don’t call her Mia) Wallace (@mayagirl) from Postcards from Sacramento.