Report: Kings owners, city leaders reach arena deal

SACRAMENTO -- City leaders reached a deal Thursday to build a new arena for the Sacramento Kings in the city's downtown, using a quarter-cent sales tax that would require voter approval in November.

The arena would cost between $470 million and $542 million, with the Kings' owners, the Maloof family, contributing around $122 million in payments over the life of the deal to finance the downtown project, The Sacramento Bee reported on its Web site.

The Maloofs also agreed to sign a 30-year lease and put $20 million in a repair fund for the new facility. The team's owners also pledged to pay off their current $71 million loan from the city.

The existing Kings facility, Arco Arena, which was completed in 1988, is one of the oldest unrenovated arenas in the league, limiting the team's profits from things such as luxury suites and advertising.

The city has been negotiating with the city and Sacramento County for years about public financing for a new arena amid fears the Maloofs might move the team to Las Vegas, where they also own a lucrative casino. Las Vegas does not have an NBA franchise.

The new Sacramento arena would be the anchor in a sports and entertainment district for the city's vacant railyard and would be owned by a new joint authority group likely composed of officials from the city and county, the Bee reported.

The Kings would be responsible for the operating costs and would get all the money from events, food and beverage sales and parking as well as revenue from naming rights, it reported.

But the deal would also require voters to approve a new quarter-cent sales tax that could produce about $1.2 billion in revenues over 15 years. Polls have shown tepid voter support for such a measure.

The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors was expected to vote Aug. 2 on whether to place the measure on the Nov. 8 ballot.