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Is Sacramento arena deal already crumbling?

Sacramento KingsSacramento leaders unveiled the outlines of a new-arena plan for the Sacramento Kings, but upon closer scrutiny it’s not clear whether there’s enough financial support in the area for a facility, with three neighboring counties unlikely to participate.

When a Joint Powers Authority for a new arena was announced last week, it theoretically included six counties. But upon closer examination, officials with three of those counties — Yuba, Sutter and Yolo — say it’s highly unlikely they would support contributing to a new Kings arena, and they don’t expect taxpayers would, either.

“Right now, 100 percent (of people commenting) side with not using taxpayers’ money,” said Stan Cleveland, a Sutter County Supervisor. “They don’t want their money going there.”

Sacramento officials spun the issue by saying they weren’t focused on a new arena, saying the bigger task was convincing the NBA the Kings should remain in Sacramento for at least one more season. But that begs the question: if there’s little chance of a new arena, why should the Kings stay at Power Balance Pavilion for one more year? Coming up with $10 million in pledges of support is a nice touch, but the only reason for the Kings not to move to Anaheim would be a wait for a new arena with new revenue sources. And there’s the argument to be made the Kings would be better off in Anaheim for the long term, even with a new arena in Sacramento.

The Kings’ predicament is certainly causing waves in the NBA, with the Lakers and Phil Jackson pushing for Ron Burkle to buy the team, and Maloofs working to hang on. That the Maloofs are having financial issues is no secret — they’re pretty much tapped out every credit line both with the Kings and their casino, The Palms in Las Vegas — and some are openly calling on the Maloofs to sell to Burkle. (Perhaps too openly: Phil Jackson will likely be reprimanded by Commissioner David Stern for comments he made about the Maloofs.) But they’re not alone: Stern recently said 22 of the 30 NBA teams lost money this past season.

RELATED STORIES: Will Kings move? No one seems to know; Report: Kings likely to stay in Sacramento for ’11-’12; Kings relo app deadline pushed back to May 2; Anaheim to discuss aid for Kings; Maloofs shoot down Arco refurb; Kings: From boom to bust; With Kings eying Anaheim, Johnson vows to continue arena quest; Maloofs sell naming rights to arena; admit to looking at moving NBA’s Kings; Johnson: We’ll take another run at new Kings arena; NBA: We’re done with Sacramento arena effortsConsultant: 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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