Sacramento city officials and would-be Kings arena builders ICON/Taylor held their first meeting with representatives from the arena-management company AEG yesterday, and emerged with an agreement that this meeting thing is a keen idea:
In a joint statement, Mayor Kevin Johnson and City Manager John Shirey said the conversation focused on making progress before the end of the year.
“All sides expressed a desire to continue to work collaboratively,” it read. “Our focus is on putting in place a public-private partnership that will put the taxpayers first and generate more than 4,000 jobs and $150 million in annual economic activity in the city.”
Before the meeting, Shirey had issued a memo that the meeting with AEG was only a “preliminary technical discussion,” and adding: “Following this discussion, we will lay out the process and timeline that formal discussions and negotiations will take place. Our collective goal is to reach a definitive financing plan by the end of the year.”
As for the elephant in the room — the fact that the city still doesn’t have a set funding plan — that wasn’t mentioned in either of Shirey’s statements. Not in the room, meanwhile, were representatives of the Kings:
Kings co-owner George Maloof, asked about the Dallas meeting, said, “We weren’t invited.”
“They’re going to meet and they’re going to get back to us,” he said. “That’s been the process. It’s a little strange, but we’re anxiously awaiting what they have.”
He said the city and the developers have been extremely busy and “we’ve left them alone,” adding that the Kings’ owners have not been approached with a proposed annual rental fee.
“Nobody’s put a number down,” he said.
Arena talks are lots of fun, until it’s time for somebody to pick up the check.