SBD/November 25, 2013/Facilities

NBA Kings Sumbit Plans For Mixed-Use Development Around Proposed Arena

Plans around the arena include a 250-room hotel and 550 units of residential housing
The NBA Kings last week submitted preliminary development plans for the site surrounding their proposed $448M Downtown Plaza arena, "envisioning a hotel, apartments, retail and more," according to Kasler & Lillis of the SACRAMENTO BEE. Team execs in a 13-page planning entitlement application that was released on Friday "sketched out their vision for a 1.5 million-square-foot mixed-use development." The document "represents a formal step in the process of developing portions of Downtown Plaza not reserved for the arena itself," but there remains no price tag or timetable for the development. The document states that team execs "propose a 250-room hotel and 550 units of residential housing, with the housing 'likely in two or more towers.'" About 350,000 square feet would "be devoted to retail and commercial space, and another 475,000 square feet for office development" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 11/23). In Sacramento, Marcos Breton wrote the city's proposed $248M arena subsidy had "generated most of the public attention and controversy," but the news of what could "become a much greater investment in downtown Sacramento by the Kings could change the debate entirely." All told, the Kings could invest more than $700M in what would "amount to a complete makeover of the Downtown Plaza shopping center." The financial commitments by the Kings put the city's proposed arena investment "in a completely different light." Opponents have "tried to cast the arena subsidy as a corporate giveaway that would imperil city finances for the gain of billionaire NBA owners." But that argument took "two big blows with Friday's unveiling of the Kings development plans and a Sacramento Superior Court judge's order earlier in the week that all but dismissed a lawsuit against the city over the arena subsidy" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 11/24).

VIVA, VIVEK: The BEE's Dale Kasler examined Kings Managing Partner Vivek Ranadive's company, Tibco Software, noting the $1B-a-year company "specializes in 'big data.'" Tibco "provides the unseen nervous system that helps 4,000 corporations and government agencies stay afloat." But Tibco is "more than just the wealth generator" for Ranadive, it is a "source of technological innovation for the Kings." The team's new smartphone app, built with Tibco technology, "relies heavily on big data to market everything from tickets to team jerseys, and it attempts to take fan interaction to a new level." The app, designed by Ranadive's son, Andrew, has "whimsical features like a virtual cowbell." The goal is to "connect to fans individually through their phones, offering personal greetings when they enter Sleep Train Arena, merchandise offers when they're near a team store, and so on." Ranadive said that to avoid conflicts of interest Tibco's BOD "has to sign off on business dealings between the company and the Kings." He added, "It has to make business sense for Tibco." Kasler noted the Kings are "merely the latest organization swept up in Tibco's world, joining a roster that includes Procter & Gamble, Royal Caribbean, Smart & Final and JPMorgan Chase." Tibco has recently "been on a roll," with 58% revenue grew from '08-12. But while Ranadive's stock in the company is "worth around" $330M, profits "have fallen this year." Forrester Research analyst Mike Gualtieri said that Tibco "faces an increasingly crowded field." But he added Tibco is "an extremely well-respected company." The Kings "seem like an extension of the firm," as visitors to the lobby of Tibco's HQs are "greeted by a video of Ranadive being interviewed on CNBC -- followed by a clip of his speech to Kings fans at a rally last spring"  (SACRAMENTO BEE, 11/24).
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