Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson announced yesterday that he is "forming a 60-member commission made up of elected leaders, and business and labor representatives from across the region to come up with a plan to finance a new arena" that would be home to the Kings. The commission "will be charged with hammering out a proposal over the next 100 days," and part of that is expected to include "what portion of funding might come from public sources." The proposal unveiled last week for a new $387M arena "did not include a financing plan." The commission will be co-Chaired by state Sen. President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and state Sen. Ted Gaines (SACRAMENTO BEE, 6/1).
POWER TO THE PEOPLE: The Nassau County Legislature voted 11-7 yesterday to put the decision about a new arena for the Islanders "in the public's hands." Barring a "possible move by a state watchdog to deny contracts necessary to hold the referendum, Nassau residents will vote Aug. 1 on whether to borrow up to $400 million to build a new hockey arena at the site of the Nassau Coliseum and a minor league baseball field at nearby Mitchel Field" (NEWSDAY, 6/1).
CAN'T FIND MY KEYS: A Seattle City Council source said that there "hasn't been any movement on finding a new sponsor for KeyArena." The name of the facility, home to the WNBA Storm, "could change midseason if Seattle Center secures a new naming-rights agreement." The Cleveland-based bank "opted not to renew after 15 years" (SEATTLE TIMES, 5/28).
KISS GOODBYE TO THE SKY? A USA TODAY editorial suggests 10 tax breaks "that should go, or at least be scaled back," including "parties in the skybox." The editorial stated, "Breaks for taking clients to restaurants, theaters and stadiums are unwise and have played a role in the meteoric rise of sports ticket prices at palatial arenas. Congress has limited these breaks in recent years, but because the limits are based on formulas and not fixed-dollar amounts, the break can still be quite generous, particularly for taking someone to a high-end sky box." The estimated annual cost of the tax break is $5B (USA TODAY, 5/31).