Mayor: We’re Not Looking at This as a Shot We’re Going to Miss

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Power Balance Pavilion Renamed to Sleep Train ArenaSACRAMENTO—

Mayor Kevin Johnson refrained from announcing a major equity partner for buying the Kings at a press conference Tuesday, but reaffirmed how his office is continuing their effort to keep the team.

Johnson noted how keeping the team, and getting an arena deal done, will continue to be an item on their agenda until the March 1 NBA relocation deadline.

“We’re not looking at this as a shot we’re going to miss,” Johnson said.

A worst-case scenario, Johnson said, would be a March 1 reveal of Sacramento’s plan to the NBA.

Identifying a major equity partner is part two of Johnson’s plan to try and keep the Kings. Former 24-Hour Fitness owner Mark Mastrov reportedly met with the City of Sacramento on Jan. 28.

Further, the idea of a “right of first refusal” has been brought up as a possible loophole that could keep the Kings in Sacramento. Basically, a minority owner in the Kings can refuse to sell off his shares and instead partner with someone else with the money to buy the whole team.

However, Johnson noted at the press conference that the right of first refusal claims are not being dealt with by the city. He did say that his office is trying to put together their own plan.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t hear from someone who has the wherewithal to be a major equity partner,” Johnson said.

Johnson said that the potential equity partners could be announced this week or next.

“It’s unprecedented to take a team out of a market that done everything it’s been asked,” Johnson said.

Cecilio Padilla contributed to this report.

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