Arena Term Sheet Revised Ahead of City Council Meeting

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A look at the “grand entrance” of the arena (Courtesy: Sacramento Kings)

SACRAMENTO-

Kings fans revere Vlade Divac’s number 21 jersey and Mitch Richmond’s number 2, but their new favorite number may be 35.

That’s the number of years the team is guaranteed to stay in Sacramento under a revised term sheet worked out with the city.

“The total project cost is now $477 million.  That’s $30 million more than was estimated a year ago,” Assistant Sacramento City Manager John Dangberg said.

At first, that may sound like Sacramento taxpayers will have to dish out more for a controversial new Kings arena that thousands still don’t want.

But as the city inches toward a final City Council vote on the plan that could make the facility reality, city leaders say the deal is actually getting better for the average Joe.

The Kings are picking up that extra bill for what’s slated to be their new throne – one change to the working term sheet between the city and it’s team.

“The Kings are going to be investing another $30 million as a means of enhancing the plaza outside of the arena, as a means of better activating L Street and as a means of activating a real state-of-the art practice facility,” Kings President Chris Granger said.

Those nuggets coming out a day before city council members will be briefed on the latest arena changes they’ll have to consider for approval on May 13th.

The city-team land swap that landed this deal in the sights of critics is also changing as it nears completion.

Now, actual appraisals are in hand versus broker opinions.

Sacramento is being sued over supposed hidden sweeteners in what it promised the  team and many have said the city wasn’t asking the Kings for what the eight parcels in question were really worth.

“But, in fact, that was not born out. The appraisals showed we had a slightly over-valuation of the properties,” Dangberg said.

The price of the land has dropped to $32 million.

“I can’t speak to the lawsuit  but what I can say throughout this process is that we will be focused on transparency,” Granger said.

Something else that’s becoming clearer for the city?

Decreased risk when it comes to the financing of this now $477 million dollar project.

Instead of counting on fluctuating ticket surcharges, the city will now get a fixed lease payment from the Kings of $6.5 million year for the first five years of the deal.

Eventually that payment will escalate to about $18 million.

“A fixed number is always better than a speculative number when it comes to financing,” Dangberg said.

Moving forward, the Kings have also agreed to be responsible for any cost overruns.

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