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Commentary: The Bottom Line Is The Bottom Line

Sacramento KingsAEGNBAKevin JohnsonDavid Stern

There has been a lot of talk, coming from all directions, in the past week about the current status of the proposed downtown arena project. 

George Maloof declared the Kings will not pay for pre-development work. He insisted they never said they would pay the three-plus million dollars. Further, the Maloof family insisted they never really agreed to a deal about arena funding. Rather, they say they okayed what is just a rough outline of a deal, with the understanding that the real negotiating was still ahead.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson then blasted the Maloofs as "disingenuous", saying there is a deal and the Maloofs must live up to it. Everyone on the Sacramento city council had something to say about the arena plan at the most recent meeting Tuesday night. Many council members expressed doubts about the future of the rail yards proposal.

Then Wednesday night, NBA Commissioner David Stern chimed in, saying he is now more "hopeful...than confident”.

There has been a lot of talk about the arena, but the current impasse comes down to one simple fact: The Maloofs do not believe the current proposal will give them a chance to make enough money to run their team.

As tenants in the proposed arena, The Kings will share revenue with the city and AEG, the company that will manage the building. As owners of Power Balance Pavilion the Maloofs control everything, and they get all the profits, from parking, tickets, naming rights, advertising, and concessions.

A source close to the team indicated the Kings are currently making a small profit, but admitted the current operation of the team is "bare bones". The Maloofs do not believe their share of the revenue sources in the new building will allow them to make enough money to field a successful team. That's it. The money, and, in this case, who gets how much money from the new arena. 

George Maloof says the Kings will not sign the arena deal as currently proposed. It's time for everyone to stop the rhetoric and sit down together and talk about the only thing that really matters: money!

Is it possible for all three sides, the Kings, the city and AEG, to agree to a deal which will make everyone financially happy? No one will know if they don't try.

If they don't make the effort, the NBA will probably decide the future of the team and the city at its Board of Governor's meeting next week in New York. A room full of millionaires making the decision may be appropriate. Afterall, it is all about the money.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Sacramento KingsAEGNBAKevin JohnsonDavid Stern
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