Mayor Kevin Johnson said in an afternoon press conference that he just wants to make sure the city of Sacramento gets its money. The Maloofs owe the city roughly $77 million on an outstanding loan that was issued to the Kings back in 1997.
Here’s what the Mayor had to say courtesy of Rob McAllister of KFBK Radio.
“What we’re ultimately looking for is maybe a written assurance so that we have it in writing and essentially supports and corroborate what (the Maloofs) are saying.” Johnson said during a press conference Tuesday. “We need to make sure our interests are protected.”
The Mayor has received verbal assurance from the Maloofs that they do intend to pay off their debt to the city in the event they move the organization south. However, it could be in the Maloofs best financial interest to simply walk away and default on their loan. If that happens, the city of Sacramento would then claim ownership of Power Balance Pavilion and a $25 million stake in the team.
Johnson also addressed comments made by his top aid, R.E. Graswich, in a recent New York Times article. From Ryan Lillis of the Sac Bee:
Johnson jokingly dragged a red-faced Graswich in front of reporters today and said he was “sharing some frustration that was going on in the community,” but that Johnson was not wishing the team good riddance.
“We do not want to be involved or embroiled in a messy divorce, that’s not what we want to have happen,” the mayor said. “(The Maloofs have) been very good to this community for the years they’ve been here, we want to go out as good partners at the end of the day, but it’s a decision that they’re ultimately making and we have to honor and respect that as well as protect the interests of the taxpayers.”
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