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Mayor Kevin Johnson said another meeting with the Maloofs is in the works, but stopped short of promising that the arena deal will be revived – or that a new deal will be struck.
“Sitting down doesn’t do anybody any harm – but it won’t be dragged out,” Johnson said. “I don’t want anyone to have false hope.”
Johnson told media Tuesday at his weekly press conference that the city’s position on the arena deal remains the same, but the city will still explore all options.
“In terms of plan B, we continue to do our internal analysis,” Johnson said. “Our goal is to report back (to the City Council) on May 8.”
The sticking point in negotiations between the city and the Maloofs is the revenue projections for the project – the city’s and the NBA’s evaluations differ from that of economist Chris Thornberg, who was brought on by the team owners to give another assessment of the financial feasibility of a new arena.
“I don’t want to rehash everything or negotiate in public,” Johnson said. “If the revenue projections aren’t agreed to, then there’s nothing else to be done. We have nothing to negotiate on that point.”
Johnson said he can’t say what the outcome of the next meeting with the Maloofs might be, just that there will be one of three results: deal, no deal, or – if there appears to be good reason for it – continuing discussions.
But time is of the essence.
“We’re not going to make (the) 2015 (basketball season) if we don’t get a deal quickly,” Johnson said. “It may be hard to make 2015 even now.”
Johnson said he is “hopeful, but not confident” about further negotiations with the Maloof family, and no date has been confirmed for the meeting between the Maloofs and Johnson.
Melissa Corker is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow her on Twitter @MelissaCorker.