Sacto’s Expensive Fail

Sacramento, Calif.’s so-far unsuccessful bid to secure the Maloof family’s approval for a new arena home for the NBA’s Kings has cost the state’s capital city at least $680,000, according to an analysis presented to the city council May 8.

The costs, pre-approved by the council, include $8,000 in travel costs to Los Angeles, Dallas, Orlando, Fla., and New York where city officials attempted to negotiate agreements with the Kings, the NBA and private partners for a $391 million facility, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, himself a former and NBA and Kings star, footed his own travel bills, according to a city staff report. The largest expenditure, $252,350, went to consultancy, financial adviser and negotiator Barrett Sports Group.

City officials said they knew in September there was always a chance the deal could fall through, adding they still felt it was worth the investment to give it a try.

“At that point, we were gaining cautious optimism that we could get this thing financed,” assistant city manager John Dangberg told the Bee. “It turned out we could. But there were issues we couldn’t overcome with the team.”

The plan fell apart last month when the city and the Kings disagreed on key financing elements, including pre-development fees and other costs.

Most of the $680,000 came from the city’s self-funded parking account, not the city general fund.