City not sure what's next for failed arena plan | News
SACRAMENTO, CA - Three days after a new arena deal fell apart, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson admitted the city has no plan B. But in the same breath, he said they're working to develop one.
"This is not over. We're going to figure out something," Johnson said. "We are not going to get caught flat-footed. I've said that over and over again.We're not going to sit on our hands, we're going to dust ourselves off and figure out a way to go forward."
Going forward means something different to the involved parties.
George Maloof is still pitching the idea of renovating Power Balance Pavilion.
"Maybe it works best in Natomas where the numbers can come down and everybody can feel better about it," Maloof said. "Not every community can afford a new arena. (So) instead of spending $400 million on a new arena, spending somewhat less on renovating the existing facility and making it great."
Friday in New York City, Johnson immediately dismissed the idea, saying if Maloofs want to renovate with their own money, they're welcome to.
Sacramento City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby, who represents Natomas, the site of Power Balance Pavilion, echoed the same sentiment.
"The city of Sacramento's investment is about so much more than basketball," Ashby said. "It was about starting the railyard project, it was about creating new economic engines and revitalizing downtown, which doesn't happen with the Natomas facility. So I'm okay with the Maloofs reconditioning, but there wouldn't be a public investment."
However, there is still a moratorium on any construction in Natomas because levees protecting the basin do not meet 100 to 200 year flood protection standards.
Still, each side shows signs of optimism.
"I don't think it's over," said City Manager John Shirey. "I think we need a little time to pass here and have a little cooling-off period, but this is such a good idea that it's got to move forward."
"We don't give up," said Maloof. "If there's a way to get it down we keep trying to look at it. But everybody has to be respectful through the process. If they're not respectful, that's not how you do business."
Reestablishing trust might be the biggest obstacle.
"I'm pretty sure we have tire tracks across our face," said Ashby. "But you know, I've been knocked down before in my life, we get back up. Sacramento is a city of fighters and if the Maloofs don't want to partner with us moving forward, that doesn't mean we don't move forward, it means we move forward without the Maloofs."