Maloofs, county leaders leery of group working to finance new arena

12:36 AM, May 1, 2011   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA - Last week, six northern California counties talked about joining forces to form a Joint Powers Authority in a regional attempt to deliver a new entertainment and sports arena to Sacramento, in an attempt to keep the Kings in the city.

Now, leaders of three of the six counties have said they most likely will not participate.

The Joint Powers Authority originally included Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, Yolo, Yuba and Sutter counties. However, a few supervisors for Yolo, Yuba and Sutter counties said they are not interested and don't want to help finance a Sports and Entertainment complex, which would replace Power Balance Pavilion.

Stan Cleveland, a Sutter County Supervisor said taxpayers' money can be spent more wisely.

"Right now, 100 percent (of people commenting) side with not using taxpayers' money," he said. "They don't want their money going there."

If building a new sports complex using taxpayer money was to go on the ballot, Cleveland said "there's no chance that it would pass."

But Sacramento Metro Chamber President Matt Mahood is quick to fire back.  First, he said these conversations are happening before the main discussion, which is whether the Sacramento Kings stay or go.

Second, 'the new sports and entertainment facility serves the entire Sacramento region, it's not fair just to have the City of Sacramento try to figure out how they and their residents pay for it. The same goes for Sacramento County. This is a regional asset that we need everybody to figure out how they can contribute to paying for it."

A spokesman for Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson had similar comment to Mahood Saturday morning.

"We appreciate the energy this issue is generating around the region and welcome the input. A new entertainment and sports complex will certainly be regional in its positive impact on jobs and economic development," said Joaquin McPeek.

"However, our current focus is 100% on the NBA's May 2 relocation decision and doing everything we can to keep the Kings in Sacramento. Any discussions beyond that are premature at this point."

The Maloofs, owners of the Kings, have until 2 p.m. PST Monday to decide whether or not to file for relocating the Kings to Anaheim.

A source close to their discussions said the Maloofs are concerned about, and are carefully watching, the possibility of the Joint Powers Authority falling apart -- even though it hasn't officially been formed.

By Nick Monacelli,


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