Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has been coordinating a full court press over the last several years as he’s worked to ensure the Kings stay in Sacramento. Now he’s had his day in court before the jury of NBA owners. The outcome should be known in two weeks.
Johnson has spent most of his time as mayor working to build a new arena and protect the Kings. He recruited so-called “Whales,” investors with the capital to supplement 19 local owners. Together, they planned to present an alternative to Seattle, an alternative with the support of local community and fan base.
“I can truly say we had an A team who brought their A game,” said Mayor Johnson, “and I couldn’t be more proud as a mayor. We got a chance to tell our story, which we feel is very compelling.”
However, a second story emerged in Sacramento that could complicate matters for Johnson. A community group named Coalition for Responsible Arena Development notified the courts that it intends to sue and stop the arena from being built, unless the terms and conditions are put before voters. Sacramento has promised $258 million in subsidies and public funds.
How the threat of lawsuit will impact the NBA’s decision is unclear.