In a press conference Tuesday, Sacramento mayor and former All-NBA point guard Kevin Johnson said that the city is in serious talks with renowned arena operator AEG regarding a new arena to host the Sacramento Kings. Later on Tuesday, the Sacramento City Council approved two resolutions aimed at moving the project forward. One approved David Taylor and the ICON Group -- the latter of which has strong ties to AEG -- as the project developers. The other allocated $550,000 to consultants investigating specific funding and financing options for the new entertainment and sports complex.
AEG getting involved would be a huge deal. AEG recently helped Kansas City build the Sprint Center without a major league tenant; a Sacramento arena would be similar since the city has just one major league team and no major college programs. AEG has also developed the Staples Center and L.A. Live and is the lead on a new NFL stadium in Los Angeles.
Sacramento has until March 1, 2012, to have an arena plan in place. The Maloof family, which owns the Kings, has made it clear that if an arena plan is not set in stone, the team will file for relocation. The NBA, which has staff stationed in Sacramento to help the team and city this year, has indicated it will grant the Maloofs' request if it comes to that. That supposes, however, that the struggling Maloofs are able to hang on to the franchise.