SACRAMENTO, CA - Over the weekend, an aide to the mayor and Sacramento City Council sent reporters an email notifying them of an additional agenda item for Tuesday night's meeting.
That agenda item is extremely important in Sacramento's fight to keep the Sacramento Kings.
Council members, including Mayor Kevin Johnson, will vote whether or not to allow John Shirey, Sacramento's city manager, to begin formal negotiations to build a new arena.
That has to happen before Johnson can submit the city's counter-offer to the NBA to keep the Kings.
A staff report posted late Monday on the city's website further explains the city manager's plan, but offers little in the way of new information.
On the major investor or so-called "whale" front, the report refers to a Sacramento-based ownership group, but does not identify Johnson's deep-pocked investors.
Minus official confirmation, however, News10 confirmed last month the major-equity investors are billionaire Ron Burkle, owner of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, and Mark Mastrov, who made his fortune creating and then selling 24-Hour Fitness.
The report does shed light on several things, including a potential smaller price tag to build a new arena. The report read, "Less development risk exposure to the City for design, construction and cost control as a result of the new owners potentially taking the lead in development."
Building a new arena is key in Sacramento's effort because the NBA has made it clear one must be built for the Kings to stay.
At the October, 2012, NBA Board of Governor's meeting, Commissioner David Stern said, "For the Kings to remain in Sacramento, we need a new arena."
The staff report also said Sacramento plans to retire the existing loan to the Kings, which is valued around $67 million.
The Maloofs, current owners of the Sacramento Kings, have agreed to sell the team to a Seattle-based group, which will move the team north.
Johnson is attempting the convince the NBA to block that sale and instead sell the team to Burkle and Mastrov, who would keep the team in Sacramento.
The council meets Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at City Hall on I Street.
By Nick Monacelli, firstname.lastname@example.org