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Cal Expo rejects Kings arena plan

Sacramento KingsThe Cal Expo board strongly rejected a plan to move operations to the Arco Arena area, scuttling plans to participate in a three-way land swap that would yield a new downtown arena for the Sacramento Kings (NBA).

The plan would have had the Cal Expo move to Arco Arena. The current Cal Expo site would be sold to a developer; the proceeds from that sale would go to help build a new Kings arena in downtown Sacramento.

The more complicated the deal, the more points of failure there are, and the deal broke at the very first chance it could. A consultants’ report last week indicated it would be financially risky for the Expo to move to Arco Arena, which wasn’t suited to hosting the event anyway. That report gave Cal Expo officials the ammunition they needed to kill the deal.

The move will lead to one obvious question: what will become of the Kings? Arco Arena is an outdated facility, and the Kings obviously have some options at their disposal. Mayor Kevin Johnson — yes, the former NBA player — now says the city could look at renovating Arco Arena to keep the Kings or work with another private developer on an arena. But those approaches will take time and money, and it’s not clear the city has both, especially with Las Vegas — the home turf for the Maloofs, owners of the Kings — beckoning with a plethora of arena plans and Seattle always available.

RELATED STORIES: Consultant: It makes no sense to move Cal Expo as part of arena project; Maloof: We’re not looking at move to Seattle; Size of Arco Arena site threatens Kings arena deal

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