Funding dispute arises between Kings, Sacramento

April 4, 2012, 9:17 pm
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Last week the Kings said they are still committed to building a new arena in California's capital city despite disagreements over part of the funding.

Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson responded on Tuesday, accusing the team's owners, the Maloof family, of making "disingenuous" statements about their financial contributions to the pre-development work.

Johnson said the family had engaged in "tactics and antics that are not becoming of a true partnership."

"We as a city can't be jerked around," he said, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Co-owner George Maloof is on record as saying that he does not believe the team should pay 3.2 million in pre-development costs for the estimated 391 million downtown arena.

RATTO: Maloofs getting cold feet about Sacramento

"It's pretty simple," Maloof said. "We're playing the role of the tenant. We didn't feel like it would be appropriate to pay for pre-development costs as a tenant. On top of that, there was a clause that had the Kings paying for AEG's contribution if the project didn't happen so we'd have to pay them back. We didn't think that was fair and we still don't."

Maloof said the team brought up that issue when first presented with the term sheet for the agreement to keep the Kings in Sacramento, but Johnson said all sides agreed to the deal before a news conference in Orlando on Feb. 27.

Under the term sheet, the Kings and arena operator AEG each were to pay about 3.2 million in pre-development costs with the city paying the remaining 6.5 million. The City Council is scheduled to vote next Tuesday to approve its payment.

Tuesday night, the Sacramento City Council agreed to spend 200,000 provided by the NBA to fund pre-development work over the next two weeks. The move was approved by a 7-2 vote.

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