Kohl, in an interview with nba.com’s David Aldridge, said he is hoping for a deal similar to one led by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson for a new Sacramento Kings arena that will help keep the Kings in town. The city of Sacramento pledged $258 million of the estimated $448 million building, with the Kings paying the rest plus any cost overruns.
“Sacramento — that’s a model, almost half and half,” Kohl told Aldridge. “They were also helped by the drama with it all.”
First off, “let’s go halfsies” isn’t a model; actually figuring out how the public will pay for its half is a model. And given that Sacramento still hasn’t completely figured out how that will work for the Kings arena, they’re probably not the best model there.
Then there’s that “helped by the drama with it all,” which can seemingly only refer to the Kings’ threats to move to Seattle, which eventually coerced the city of Sacramento to approve an arena plan despite the shaky financing. Put it all together, and Kohl’s remarks translate to “This should go great if we can just get Milwaukee to agree to pay for half an arena whether or not it can afford it, and if we pretend we’re going to move the team in order to scare officials into approving subsidies.” Which is no doubt what he actually means, but you have to wonder if he knew he was saying it out loud.