SBD/Issue 35/Facilities & Venues

Sacramento Mayor Forming Task Force For New NBA Kings Arena

Johnson (l) Hopes To Be Working Toward
New Facility By End Of '09-10 Season
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson Thursday said that he is "forming a task force to explore how to build a new sports arena in Sacramento and will roll out requests for proposals for the project in the coming days," according to Ryan Lillis of the SACRAMENTO BEE. Johnson said that he "hopes to have a path toward a new facility by the end" of the '09-10 NBA season. He said that he "would not accept arena proposals that include new taxes and said he does not want Sacramento to be used as leverage for another city hoping to lure away the Kings." He noted a proposal to build an arena at Cal Expo "cannot be our only option." Johnson said that he "wants an arena that acts as 'an entertainment center that lights up six blocks in all directions,' is linked to mass transit and utilizes green technology." Dewey Square Group Partner Karen Skelton, who is working on behalf of the NBA on the project, said that the league is "willing to work with the mayor on a broader effort for an arena." Skelton: "Cal Expo is a difficult lift in an economy like this. We applaud the mayor's leadership. We have exactly the same interests as him" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 10/30). Johnson said that Cal Expo is "still in play" as a possible site for a new arena. But he added that "building an arena as part of a larger redevelopment of Cal Expo was a 'long shot' to begin with, and it's more of a long shot since the recession" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 10/29).

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