“I would categorize the meeting as productive. I would say that what we agreed to do is continue to meet,” Johnson said in a brief news conference following the meeting.
Both sides, according to the Mayor, agree they want a downtown deal to happen. He told the media the brothers will be meeting with him again Friday morning to continue their conversation.
The mayor later confirmed that the meeting will take place at 8 a.m.
The arena deal started crumbling last month over revenue projections for the plan, and how to finance the $391 million arena at the downtown railyards location.
A war of words started during the NBA’s Board of Governor’s meetings in New York, when the Maloofs and an economist they hired, publicly expressed their concerns over Sacramento’s ability to finance the arena deal.
It appeared at least from Johnson’s end that the mudslinging and name calling of previous weeks had been pushed aside.
“I've never had an issue. I've had a good relationship with all three brothers all the way along. I think there was a comment or two made. That's neither here nor there," Johnson said. "I mean, they were a little emotional at the time, I get that. But, again, we're all keeping the lines of communication open made sense for everybody."
At Thursday’s press conference, Mayor Johnson repeatedly said “we will not negotiate in public,” a response to the very-public verbal barbs over the last couple of weeks.
The Mayor did say there is a very tight timeline for this project if the city wants to have a new arena built by the 2015 season.