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Maloof Tells FOX40: Family 'All In' On Arena Plan

George Maloof told FOX40 this afternoon his family is "all in" on the plan for the new arena, but it must be "the right deal."

In a lengthy telephone conversation, initiated by the Kings organization, Maloof reiterated the family has concerns about the arena deal as it is currently proposed, but emphasized several times the family is committed to making the deal work and keeping the team in Sacramento.

Maloof down-played a report in the Los Angeles Times that Anaheim might be back in play saying, "We are not considering another city."

Maloof said he received a call from someone in Anaheim three months ago, and that was the last time he talked to anyone from that city.

Regarding the much discussed pre-development funding, which became an area of contention, Maloof insisted the family never agreed to pay anything for pre-development of the project. He told us he made it clear when the first term sheet was written that pre-development money should not be the responsibility of a tenant, which the Kings will be in the new arena.

“We don't feel that's fair. We said no," Maloof told FOX40. He added that what was presented at the March 6th council meeting was "not was said" in prior discussions about the pre-developement funds.

The NBA agreed Thursday to put up the team's portion of that money the city of Sacramento claims is currently due.

Maloof said a recent letter sent to the city expressed concerns in a number of areas, including the proposed completion date of the new arena, in time for the 2015 NBA season. The purpose of the letter, according to Maloof, was to get those concerns on the record. He said he understands the Maloof family has taken a public relations hit for expressing their worries over the arena plan, adding he doesn't "want to negotiate in public."

Maloof also suggested the language used after the meetings in Orlando between the team, city and NBA perhaps should have been tempered so the public was more aware that the agreement reached in Orlando was on only the framework for a deal.

No firm agreement has been reached.

Given that, Maloof said there is no split in the Maloof family.

"(The Maloofs are) All in 100 percent, but it has to be the right deal. We are not going to sign the deal that is on the table," said Maloof.

Again pointing out the process is in the negotiating stage, Maloof sounded optimistic saying the current problems are "not insurmountable."

In response to several uncomfortable questions from FOX40 regarding the Maloof family finances and whether the family can afford the proposed arena project, Maloof said, "Nobody can afford it in its present form." Asked about the family finances in general, Maloof politely answered, "Those questions are unfair."

Maloof warned there may be more bumps in road to the rail yards arena, but added, "We're excited. We want to make it happen, but it is a negotiation."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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