During last week's NBA Board of Governors meetings, Mayor Kevin Johnson piqued the interest of league brass when he claimed he was able to secure $7 million in untapped Sacramento corporate resources for the Kings. Add another $1 million to that total, after reports surfaced that Thunder Valley Casino Resort, the Indian gaming destination located on the outskirts of Roseville, publicly acknowledged their monetary pledge to keep the Kings in the Sacramento region.
Doug Elmets, spokesman for Thunder Valley, said the mayor reached out to the casino's owners and dropped in for a brief lunch meeting yesterday. According to Elmets, Johnson's recap of the board of governors meetings in New York was one reason that convinced them to commit.
It was interesting. He did talk about how the expectations for Sacramento were low at least in terms of perception by the NBA owners and by the NBA commissioner (while) the expectations for Anaheim were obviously high. And when the Mayor went in, he made what was apparently a fantastic presentation (while) Anaheim's presentation left a lot of questions to be answered. So what had happened (was), the equilibrium shifted, and clearly the Mayor wanted to convey that to the tribe to really impress upon (them) that now's the opportunity.
When asked about the fiscal pledge from Thunder Valley, Mayor Johnson would neither deny nor confirm while appearing on yesterday's KFBK afternoon news program.
"If that is in fact true," Johnson began. "Down the road, that would be good news and answer your question accordingly."
The casino already owns a luxury box worth $350,000 in the arena and hopes this commitment paves the way for future advertising and promotional opportunities with the Kings.
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