SBD/January 7, 2011/Facilities

Development Teams Present Arena Ideas To Sacramento Task Force

Various locations in Sacramento still in play for potential Kings arena
Four development teams Thursday presented Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson's arena task force with their "concepts for a sports and entertainment facility to replace aging Arco Arena," according to Tony Bizjak of the SACRAMENTO BEE. The meeting "erupted into a verbal skirmish" between developer Gerry Kamilos and task force member Mark Harris, who held up a paper "on which he had scrawled and circled an 'F' grade for Convergence, the name of Kamilos' group." Kamilos, a "former insider in the competition, was left wondering if he's now on the outside," but Kamilos said that his group "nonetheless intends to have a new plan ready in a few weeks." That plan will be "complicated as well, again involving redevelopment of the Arco site as well as a portion of Cal Expo to generate tax increment funds to help finance a downtown arena, along with private equity investment." But Kamilos said that the new plan "will not seek to have the State Fair move to the Arco site." Meanwhile, Harris "effusively welcomed the newest of the four groups in the mix, a team put together by" Sacramento developer David Taylor that includes ICON Venue Group. The Taylor team "presented few details for a downtown railyard arena, however, saying they had only organized as a group three weeks ago." Both Taylor and IVG President & CEO Tim Romani indicated that "financing an arena will require some form of public funding." Taylor: "No way in hell this project is going to get done in any of our lifetimes without public help." Bizjak notes a third group, "led by downtown businessman Al Mackani and developer Larry Kelley, is focusing on the Westfield Downtown Plaza site" for a new arena, while a fourth group, Natomas ESC Partners, is "pushing for what they say will be a less expensive arena in Natomas, next to existing Arco Arena." The arena task force "will make a recommendation to the City Council later this month" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 1/7).
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