With 11 days to go before Sacramento’s paired arena votes (and absentee balloting already underway), things just keep getting more bizarre. To wit:
Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof and negotiators for the city and county have all but given up on cutting an arena deal before the election, with Sacramento County Supervisor Roger Dickinson telling the Sacramento Bee, “We’ve all come to recognize we won’t get a memorandum of understanding between now and the election.” Dickinson, added the Bee, indicated that “the city and county were considering issuing a statement apprising voters of the status of talks.”
Any statement, though, won’t include any specifics of what they’re talking about. Though a Sacramento judge ordered the city to reveal the contents of its latest offer to the Maloofs, the city is refusing, claiming it was only a draft document. An appeals court is scheduled to hear the case on Monday.
NBA commissioner David Stern told reporters that “in the absence of a deal between the city and the developer, I don’t know what any fair-minded citizen of Sacramento is being asked to vote on.”
So to recap: We have a pair of NBA team owners who are being offered possibly the most lucrative deal in league history, and are refusing to take it; a league commissioner who is effectively telling voters not to vote for said sweetheart deal; and local elected officials who are insisting on their right to throw money at a new arena for the team, even though the team insists it won’t take it. All this, of course, is grandstanding to try to pressure the city and county to cut a deal before the vote, but it’s pretty amusing nonetheless – assuming, that is, that you’re not a Kings fan or Sacramento taxpayer.