Now that Virginia Beach is no longer a threat to lure the Kings, what happens next for the city of Sacramento? No one is quite sure. Not even R.E. Graswich, who spent the last three years working in the mayor’s office and the now-defunct Think Big Sacramento arena task force. Graswich was on the KFBK Afternoon News yesterday and was asked where California’s capital city might go from here. Q: You’ve been part of the mayor’s inner circle for quite some time. It seems like Kevin Johnson has just done everything he can do to maintain the team, but now some feel like he’s given up. Are we at the end of the road? A: Well you hate to say give up and Kevin Johnson in the same sentence. And even though I don’t work for him anymore, I still hate to say that, so I won’t say that. I don’t believe that he will give up. Unfortunately, it’s out of his hands. You’ve got a basketball team, which is a business and that business has really the ability to control its own destiny. So no matter what the mayor does, no matter what the city does, no matter what the governor or anybody else does, the decisions are going to be made by the Maloof family.
Sessoms had imposed a Monday deadline for reaching a deal so he could then go to the Virginia legislature for a $150 million subsidy. The city and arena developer Comcast-Spectacor issued a joint statement saying they haven’t “reached a level of progress that will allow the city to go before the General Assembly to request the necessary funding.” “We can’t move forward because Comcast has not reached a deal,” Sessoms told The Bee.
Virginia Beach, Va., today gave up its pursuit of the Sacramento Kings, acknowledging that a deal for a new arena couldn’t be reached. “This just ain’t gonna work at this point in time,” the city’s mayor, Will Sessoms, told The Bee.
After years of talks, hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on consulting reports, and most recently an NBA team looking to re-locate, time seems to be running out on plans to build a new arena in Virginia Beach with the Sacramento Kings as the building’s main tenant. Today, Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms and Peter Lukko, the president of Comcast Spectacor, will release a joint statement regarding their ongoing negotiations to get the arena deal done. Unfortunately, those negotiations are at a stand-still.
The drama over the Sacramento Kings’ possible move to Virginia Beach will last at least one more day. Although Virginia Beach’s mayor set a deadline of today for cutting a deal on a new NBA arena, the mayor won’t make any announcement today. Mayor Will Sessoms is likely to make an announcement Tuesday, when the City Council meets, said city spokesman Marc Davis. Sessoms imposed the deadline because he needs a deal in place before he can go to the state legislature for a proposed $150 million subsidy.