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Arena: Mayor Kevin Johnson discusses his Las Vegas meeting with George Maloof

One week after the collapse of the arena deal, the mayor of Sacramento briefs local media on his impromptu meeting with the Kings co-owner.

Updated at 12:40 am, April 21, 2012

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and the Maloofs are reviving talks after the proposal to build a new Sacramento arena collapsed one week ago in New York City.

The mayor returned from Las Vegas following an impromptu meeting Friday afternoon with Sacramento Kings co-owner George Maloof.  He called the meeting, which lasted about an hour, with brother George “very productive” and stressed the importance of keeping the lines of communication open “in the spirit of Sacramento.”  Johnson says the two sides agreed to a follow-up meeting on possibly Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Below video of the entire press scrum:


A few bullet point quotes from the mayor:

  • “I thought it was really important to kind of have an honest and frank discussion.  And I thought we were able to do that – re-establish communication.  We didn’t get into the core principles of the deal.  That wasn’t what it was about today.  It was really us just sitting down face to face and talking about the possibilities and I felt very good.
  • “I feel like we’re communicating.  And I feel like there’s nothing new at this point, meaning I felt like our position has always been very clear.  I felt like their position over time became something I didn’t realize.  But today in sitting down I understood a little bit different where his perspective was.  Not that I fully agreed with it, but it was important to understand his perspective, which I did.”
  • “I think when we sat down, it was important for us to establish that at least from my standpoint, it’s not about “he said, she said” – that’s not productive.  And I can’t look at the Maloofs and their family as part of a problem.  They have to be viewed as part of a solution.  And that is really what my mindset was today and again, I think we both walked away feeling really good about the meeting we had today.”
  • “Today wasn’t really about Plan A or Plan.  Today was about ‘does it make sense for us to keep talking?’ and we both agreed it did.”
  • “I don’t know what the hard deadline is. But I can’t imagine us going longer than another week or two. I just can’t imagine that scenario. And quite honestly, I don’t even know if we can make it today. That’s what we want to find out – when is the drop dead deadline to be able to have everything in place to be able to make 2015? I don’t know that answer. That’s what the next couple weeks is really about for all of us.”

James Ham also contributed to this report.


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