SBD/Issue 124/Facilities & Venues

Task Force To Unveil Recommendations For NBA Kings Arena Site

Task Force Expected To Tell City Council The
Downtown Site Is Best Bet For Kings' Arena

A task force appointed by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is expected to tell the City Council today that the "complicated land-swap plan" that would put an arena for the NBA Kings at the downtown railyard is the city's "best bet for a facility to replace Arco Arena," according to Bizjak & Lillis of the SACRAMENTO BEE. The task force "has spent two months interviewing proponents of seven arena proposals," and a source said that the group "will identify three or four of the proposals as worth city study." The source added that task force leaders "will say they believe the city's best chance of success appears to be a plan involving privatizing the Cal Expo site, moving the state fairgrounds to the Arco site in Natomas and building an arena on city-owned land next to the I Street train depot in the downtown railyard." That proposal is from local developers Gerry Kamilos and David Taylor, and is "backed by" the NBA and Kings. The city "plans to build a major transit center" at the site, and Task force officials are "expected to recommend the arena be physically connected to the transit center in some fashion." NBA officials this week reaffirmed that they and the Kings "want to know whether there is a feasible option by the end of this month." The Kamilos financing proposal "includes two major private investment companies and a $300[M]-plus financial commitment from the Kings over the next 30 years." The plan "comes with a stamp of approval from the NBA, which has been struggling for three years to find a way to build an arena in Sacramento without a tax increase." But the proposal is "complicated" and "would require quick cooperation from numerous entities, including state legislators, the governor, Cal Expo officials, the Sacramento Kings, and city and county officials" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 3/11).

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