Sacramento Focusing On User Fees To Fund New Downtown Kings Arena
Aides to Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said that they are "focused on user fees such as ticket surcharges" to help finance a new downtown arena for the NBA Kings, according to a front-page piece by Bizjak, Lillis & Kasler of the SACRAMENTO BEE. That revenue "could be coupled with event-night parking fees at downtown garages, new corporate sponsorships, and up-front money from private companies that could build and operate the arena for the city." According to a financing update that will be discussed today at a meeting of Johnson's 70-person regional arena committee, the city also "could sell up to a dozen parcels that it owns to developers, raising $30 million to $60 million." City officials said that they are "even considering renting the arena's rooftop to telecommunications companies for cell towers." An "element of the proposal is likely to be a ticket surcharge at the arena -- possibly in the $2 or $3 range -- and surcharges on merchandise bought there." Johnson's advisers estimated that arena events "could generate between $1 million and $5 million annually in parking revenue at city garages." Sacramento First arena task force co-Chair Chris Lehane said that his group also is "exploring business arrangements with private companies for corporate sponsorships, advertising rights and arena naming rights." The mayor's group "also may suggest the city erect electronic billboards for lease or sale at the arena and elsewhere." Lehane "declined to say whether the mayor's group has come to an arrangement with the Kings on how much rent the team would pay" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 7/28).