The Sacramento city council may not know where they want to build a Kings arena, or how much it would cost, or who would pay for it, or who would buy the team, or whether the NBA and the Maloofs would even let them buy it, but by gum they’re not going to let that stop them from voting on it! And so the council voted 7-2 last night to allow city manager John Shirey to spend $150,000 on lawyers and arena financing consultants, and to enter into negotiations with a group of new investors who’d be looking to buy the team out from under its preexisting Seattle suitors.
As to who exactly the city will be negotiating with, the council still has no idea. (The Sacramento Bee called this “an unusual twist.”) Mayor Kevin Johnson has said a formal proposal to buy the team will likely be made by this Friday, though whether that will include a full list of investors or just one rich dude and “I know some guys, see” remains to be determined.
As for what the city will be negotiating, that’s apparently wide open as well: The site is still up in the air, and while last year’s failed “sell future downtown parking rights and then make up for the lost city revenue from parking fees by — hey, look over there!” plan remains in play, the Bee says that “land sales, ticket surcharges and assessments paid by property owners near the arena are also on the table.” Also presumably bake sales. Or maybe shoeshine polish that glows in the dark.
Shirey stressed that nothing will be finalized until he can come back to the council with a term sheet, which he hopes to do by mid-April, when the NBA owners are set to vote on the Kings’ future. But no pressure or anything.