During a press conference Friday, the Mayor said “The differences are too far apart, they could not really be overcome.”
The Maloof brothers, who own the Sacramento Kings, met with Mayor Johnson Thursday, and again Friday morning to clarify issues they had expressed last month about an arena deal.
The Mayor said Thursday’s meeting was “productive”, however he did not go into a lot of details, saying he and the Maloofs were not going to “negotiate in public”.
The comment is in response to a very public war of words following the NBA Board of Governor’s meeting in New York last month. At the meeting, the Maloofs brought their hired-economist who laid out serious economic and financial concerns about the structure of the current arena deal.
Following the meeting, Mayor Johnson, other Sacramento leaders and the Maloofs were quoted in the media with harsh words for the other side.
During Friday’s press conference, Mayor Johnson repeatedly said that Sacramento had met or exceeded the requirements the NBA put forth last year in New York to build a new arena, and keep the Kings in town.
"We felt that this fair deal was something (everyone) was willing to agree to. But the economics of it for them were difficult for them,” said Mayor Johnson.
As for whether the Maloofs will keep the Kings in Sacramento, Mayor Johnson said they did not mention plans to relocate in their discussions over the last 48 hours.
“As a mayor I’m going to do everything I can to keep an NBA team in town. We want to build something downtown to bring people downtown,” said Mayor Johnson.
Sacramento City Manager John Shirey said this project was about more than the Kings. “We saw the arena as an economic development opportunity,” he said. He said the city is working to bring more opportunities to Sacramento.