SBD/January 26, 2011/Facilities

Sacramento City Council Wants More Information From Arena Proposals

All four prospective developers will submit more information to city
The Sacramento City Council last night "set aside a recommendation from a mayoral task force that it join forces with one of four development teams that recently answered the panel's request for concepts for a new arena for the NBA's Kings," according to a front-page piece by Bizjak & Lillis of the SACRAMENTO BEE. Instead, the council by unanimous vote "instructed city staff to ask the development teams to resubmit their qualifications -- this time to the city -- and describe more precisely how they would approach the troubling task of financing a new sports and entertainment complex in Sacramento." Mayor Kevin Johnson said that he "expects the council to make a threshold decision in two weeks, choosing one of the four teams as a partner going forward." Sacramento Assistant City Manager John Dangberg told the council that a "key element would be determining what financial investment the Kings owners would be willing to make in a new facility." Proponents of "all four plans said they plan to submit more information to the city in the next two weeks." Bizjak & Lillis note the Kings have been "silent in recent weeks about the arena efforts, including whether they might file an application with the NBA this year for permission to move to another city." NBA execs noted that the league deadline for such a request is March 1 (SACRAMENTO BEE, 1/26).

THE MISSING LINK: In Sacramento, Marcos Breton writes it has become "glaringly clear why Sacramento has been unable to nail down a secure future for the Kings: Sacramento has no key man or woman to make it happen." It remains to be seen whether Kings Owners the Maloofs "will be financially viable going forward." There is "wealth in Sacramento," but community leaders have been "on the periphery of the Kings saga for years." The city is "exploring an arena at the worst possible time and, no matter what anyone says, no one locally knows if it can be done here" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 1/26). A SACRAMENTO BUSINESS JOURNAL editorial notes the city is "looking at options for a new sports arena," but the "bigger -- and more critical -- question is does the community want an NBA team?" If both sides are "not willing -- or simply unable -- to develop a forward-thinking plan, or even a little promise, it's time to end the quarter-century relationship." The Kings' naming-rights agreement with Power Balance to rename the existing arena is a "hard-to-grasp deal" that is "about something plain and simple -- money" (SACRAMENTO BUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/21 issue).
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