Johnson optimistic on arena deadline for Kings

February 10, 2012, 10:28 pm
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Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson went on record Thursday with optimistic beliefs that his city will meet the NBA-imposed March 1 deadline with a finalized arena financing plan, according to a report by the Sacramento Bee.

"I feel like the city can do its part, and then the negotiations will be between the Maloofs (Kings owners), the NBA and AEG (arena operator)."

With 26 days to go before the deadline, Johnson is pushing a financing plan to privatize local parking meters and garages. Thirteen private companies and investors have shown interest in Johnson's plan. Along with potential real estate sales, the city hopes to contribute their 200 million portion of the estimated 400 million arena.

On Tuesday, the city staff will lobby the council for an OK to pursue further conversation with the interested firms, and request the council to issue a report and create formal bids for the leaders of those private companies.

Meanwhile, the Kings, Sacramento and the NBA are in constant contact with other private companies planning a strategy of attack to fulfill the 400 million financing needs.

Although time is ticking, Johnson is confident that Sacramento is in a position of power.

"We get a chance to control our own destiny here," he said. "And if we just laser focus on our business, this will be the final resting place of the Sacramento Kings."