Venue News: Sacramento Kings Reach Tentative Deal to Build New Arena

The city of Sacramento and the Kings announced a tentative deal Monday to build a new arena in the downtown railyard. More than half the money would come from leasing the city’s parking to a private operator, but the Maloof family – the team’s owners — says they’ve also agreed to pay $75 million upfront. George Maloof, the family member who pushed the hardest to move to Anaheim last year, said he believes the deal with Sacramento will allow the team to sustain itself financially for years in Sacramento, a small-market city. Details of the agreement are expected to be included in a term sheet released by the city Thursday. The City Council is expected to vote on the deal at its March 6 meeting…

…While the Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Coyotes – once considered the two teams most able to relocate quickly – look more likely to stay put, it does not mean the Seattle arena proposal is dead. Construction on a new arena won’t begin until teams in the NBA and NHL agree to come to Seattle. Peter McCollum, a spokesman for Chris Hansen — who made the proposal to help finance an arena in Seattle’s Sodo District — has said there is no deadline for securing teams. According to McCollum, once a Memorandum of Understanding agreement is reached with the city and county, Hansen will be able to take it to the NBA in attempts to secure a team (he will not be involved in bringing an NHL team to Seattle). An arena advisory panel, appointed by the mayor and the county executive, will first examine the proposal from Hansen. After that, it will go to the city council and county council for consideration…

…The San Francisco 49ers project that they could raise half a billion dollars in seat licenses at their new stadium in Santa Clara, an amount that would be the second-most of any U.S. team, behind only the Dallas Cowboys, said sources familiar with the team’s meeting with bankers earlier this month. In fact, the team had already raised $79 million by the time of the meeting; it needs to raise $200 million to meet basic requirements for the $850 million of debt that will cover much of the stadium’s total cost, the sources said. Sales began last month. For the 49ers, the large seat license figure underscores why the team can undertake such a significant financing solo, with the wealth in Northern California appearing to have made the first new football stadium in the state since the 1960s possible. The team hopes to break ground in the coming months and open the stadium in 2014…

…The Saskatchewan Roughriders are planning a $14-million plan to upgrade Mosaic Stadium, even though the team plans to move into a new stadium in 2016. The provincial government has loaned the Roughriders $6.2 million, while the club will cover the remainder of the cost through its capital account. The first phase involves the construction in the end zones of approximately 7,000 individual seats — 3,000 in the north end zone and 4,000 in the south — along with 27 corporate suites, creating a bowl. The current Maxtron is to be replaced by a 60-foot-wide digital LED screen and scoreboard in the northeast end of the stadium as well as a 55-foot-wide digital LED scoreboard attached to the west grandstand. LED “ribbons” are to be mounted at field level on the east stands and along the west grandstand. Construction crews already are on site, as the team hopes to have the new pieces in place for the 2012 season. The second phase of the project includes the erection of another level of temporary seats that would bring Mosaic Stadium’s seating capacity approximately 50,000 for the 2013 Grey Cup.