Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson came through in a huge way tonight during his State of the City address. He officially announced the large equity investors (Mastrov and Burkle), the site of the arena (Downtown Plaza Mall), a $50 million investment from local businesses for advertising in the new arena, the goal of the 20 local investors, oh and the fact that Mastrov/Burkle are going to try to revive the Sacramento Monarchs of the WNBA.
From tonight’s address it seems like Mastrov is going to be the primary investor behind the effort to keep the Kings. Meanwhile, Burkle will be the driving force behind the construction of the arena the Downtown Plaza site.
Downtown Plaza has always been the preferred site for the Arena, Westfield just didn’t want an arena built there when they owned it. That’s why the City hammered out the deal at the Rail Yards in 2012. Now that Westfield is out of the picture and JMA owns the site, it looks like an arena is going to get built there.
The $50 million dollars for advertising shows a strong local buisness commitment to the Kings; a local commitment that the Maloofs continue to say does not exist…#FTM. Also, the commitment to bringing the WNBA back is something that has to have the NBA’s interest (after all the WNBA is owned by the NBA). A return of the WNBA would get one of that league’s strongest markets back into the fold; the original Monarch franchise folded after the Maloofs decided they tired of owning a WNBA team….#FTM.
As for the 20 local investors (each has pledged $1 million), they are going to pursue Cook’s 7% share of the Kings’s minority ownership. If they successfully win the auction it would keep that loose piece of the Kings ownership in Sacramento; it would also mean that the right of first refusal stays with owners in Sacramento.
In other word’s, KJ’s case for Sacramento to retain the Kings is pretty damn solid. After all, the Sacramento City council has proven that they are willing to help pay for an arena and their willingness to work with the new investors.
Do not be shocked if the NBA rejects Hansen’s bid on the grounds that the Maloofs have tried to fuck over the NBA’s public subsidies, and Sacramento has been an excellent market (fan and economics wise) for the Kings.