AEG President: Sacramento is a good bet | News
SACRAMENTO, CA - The key players for a new entertainment and sports complex met in Sacramento on Monday to discuss funding and details for the project.
"I believe Sacramento is a good bet," AEG President Tim Leiweke said. "I think the Kings are a good bet and I know the mayor and his team are a good bet."
AEG is making a commitment to Sacramento as an operator and investor. Mayor Kevin Johnson began working with AEG nearly two years ago.
"This group is the best at what they do not only in the country but in the world," Johnson said. "You're going to get concerts, you're going to have relationships, you're going to have content, you're going to have partners that we can only dream of."
AEG has pledged nearly $59 million for a new arena. The contribution amounts to about 15 percent of the total cost of the $391 million project. The commitment to Sacramento is AEG's second largest arena investment in the United States, following the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
"As someone who does own a piece of the Lakers, AEG understands the passion between this community and their basketball team," Leiweke said. "It's the best market and the best fans I've seen anywhere in the NBA."
As a partner, AEG would be responsible for naming rights of the complex, selling suites and premiere seats, operating the facility and booking contracts for events.
"When we get this built we're going to be a good citizen, we're going to be a good neighbor and we will have one of the great arenas not just in the United States, but anywhere in the world and Sacramento will be a different community," Leiweke said.
Leiweke expects the entertainment and sports complex to host about 150 events per year, with the Kings as the primary tenant.
"A lot of people think we're wrong here. I'm telling you in the industry there are a lot of people betting against us," said Leiweke. "We've never failed with an arena, ever, and it's not going to start here."
The AEG team and the Kings met on their own to discuss the economics of the project.
The AEG president cautions the commitment is still a vision and must be signed by April 15, a deadline set by the NBA.