SBD/October 16, 2013/Facilities

NBA Kings Aiming For Smaller Capacity, Intimate Setting With New Downtown Arena

Original estimates called for the Kings' arena to seat 18,500
NBA Kings President Chris Granger recently revealed that the team's new $448M Downtown Plaza arena "may have far fewer seats than originally proposed, possibly fewer than at old Sleep Train Arena, but could pack more patrons in, nonetheless, by offering special standing-room-only ticket sections and a dramatic outdoor plaza seating area," according to a front-page piece by Bizjak & Kasler of the SACRAMENTO BEE. Original estimates called for the facility to seat 18,500, but Granger said, "I'd be surprised if we have more than 17,500." He and arena architect AECOM believe that limited seating "would create intimacy and allow designers to add elements no other arena has." Team officials said that they "may publish as many as five arena design concepts sometime in the coming months for public review." Granger: "We’ll get people and the NBA to weigh in" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 10/16).

NOT ON MY DIME: In Sacramento, Dale Kasler reports a "new Sacramento citizens' group was formed" yesterday to fight the proposed $258M taxpayer subsidy for the Kings' new arena. The group, Voters for a Fair Arena Deal, "will gather signatures for a ballot initiative launched months ago by another group opposed to the arena subsidy." But Voters for a Fair Arena Deal "took pains to separate itself from the original effort and said it will 'limit communications' between itself and the first group, Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork." The new group was announced by Eye On Sacramento watchdog group President Craig Powell, who said, "We are not opposed to a public subsidy for an arena. What we are in favor of is an arena subsidy we can afford." He added that the proposed subsidy is "too expensive and will harm the city financially" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 10/16).
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