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Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson may need an assist to get stadium

Oct 4, 2010, 2:46 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for Kings_logo.gifPoliticians by the very nature of the system don’t like to tell voters that something is hard or will not happen. This crosses all party lines — telling voters bad things are coming or needed does not win votes, so they avoid it. When they say something is bad, they are serious.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson went on KHTK radio in Sacramento with Mike Lamb and Grant Napear and said that things were bad. Getting a new building and keeping the Kings was going to be hard. Nobody has talked about moving the Kings (yet) but this is a team in a bad building in an area hit hard by the recession (Sacramento relied heavily on building and related trades) that will need a change one way or another.

Johnson was honest. Which should scare Kings fans.

I know both [hosts] know it’s going to be very difficult to build a sports facility in California. It’s tough to do it when it’s in good times and it’s very challenging to do it in California when there aren’t good times. The San Diego Chargers for years have been trying to get a new stadium. The LA community, the city of LA doesn’t even have a football team right now because it’s hard. Why is that? Because anytime you look at a sports model for building a new entertainment sports complex, public financing is usually part of their model. In California that immediately in some cases triggers a public vote [ed. note: needs two-thirds approval] which makes it very difficult to happen in California.”

The reality of losing also would hurt Sacramento in both a monetary and to the city’s psyche.

The Sacramento Kings organization means so much to our community and we’ve got to do everything we can to try and put ourselves in a position to build a new entertainment and sports complex. In terms of keeping them here, if we do not keep the Kings in Sacramento, it will be very difficult for our city to recover when we lose our only professional franchise. It is very difficult to get them into a community and once you have them here, we have demonstrated we have some of the best fans in all of sports let alone the NBA. To lose them would be very, very difficult. The good news is they have never threatened or anything I’ve heard where they’ve said we’re thinking about going anywhere else. Joe just said the other day that ‘we’re committed, we’re disappointed that this opportunity at Cal Expo and the Convergence plan did not come to fruition. We knew it was a long shot.’

Nobody is talking about a move. Yet.

  1. chris - Oct 4, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    Citizens of Sacramento… as someone from a city that recently had its’ team stolen (Seattle), if the Kings leave, there will at most, 20,000 people who are upset (they go to the games) and a year later, they will be quiet.
    Trust me, you are better off without the NBA. If a business can’t operate in the black without the town building a 500 million dollar arena, then something is wrong.
    If uber rich casino owners from Vegas can’t pay for their own building, then they aren’t good for your city.
    Watch some games on TV…

  2. Danny - Oct 5, 2010 at 1:29 AM

    come on sacramento lets get the new stadium its a new era.

  3. danny - Oct 5, 2010 at 1:36 AM

    hey chris the maloofs dont own the stadium they rent and they are putting money on it maybe not all but some and if there is a little raise in some of are taxes so be it. Your just pissed off because you lost your team.
    p.s. stay out of sacramento issues!

  4. garvin - Oct 5, 2010 at 3:25 AM

    I have lived in sacramento for 37 years. i think there is better ways to spend taxpayers money that on a 3rd kings arena. what a joke! have we even paid off the first 2 yet? this is a scam. we would be smart to let them go to another city.

  5. Craig W. - Oct 5, 2010 at 6:51 AM

    I live in Los Angeles. We lost our NFL teams in part because the city refused to build an arena. Staples Center was privately financed and none of their profits go to the city, either.
    My only compensation is that I get all the best NFL games on Sundays.
    I am in the camp that sports owners are spoiled because they can get cities to pay for their stadiums and they get sweetheart deals for the first 10-15 years.
    I hate what happened in Seattle, but the owner was a real lying dirt-bag anyway.
    As long as other cities will pay the freight, I thing good cities should just let the team go with the universal middle finger sign.

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