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Volume 24 No. 157


The final drawings of the NBA Kings' planned $448M downtown arena depict "a see-through building they say captures what is quintessentially Sacramento, without looking quite like anything else" in the area, according to a front-page piece by Bizjak, Kasler & Lillis of the SACRAMENTO BEE. The team yesterday "unveiled final drawings" of the arena to the Sacramento City Council. Architect AECOM "gave the arena a half-block-long front entry dominated by five glass aircraft hangar doors that can fold upward to create a five-story opening, allowing people in the arena plaza and even motorists on nearby J Street to see directly into the facility." The structure's facade is a "distinctive silvery-white series of vertical panels made out of patterned glass, perforated, see-through aluminum, and Sierra limestone." The adjacent public plaza is "envisioned as a microcosm of the region's agriculture and outdoor lifestyle." Kings President Chris Granger said, "We're trying to blur the lines between arena ... and public space." He added that the arena is expected to have 28 luxury suites as well "50 smaller suites." The facility also is "expected to contain between 17,000 and 17,300 seats, slightly fewer than Sleep Train Arena." Granger said that the bowl will be "designed with substantial standing-room areas, and could be outfitted with temporary bleachers, to bring the total capacity to 19,000." Granger and ICON Venue Group President & CEO Tim Romani said that the cost of the project "has not gone up and is not expected to." Romani said $448M "is actually a quite reasonable budget." He added that the team "plans to begin demolition of much of the Downtown Plaza in June." Kings officials said that the renderings "were to be emailed to Kings ticket holders at midnight" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 1/28).

: A SACRAMENTO BEE editorial states the Kings have set a "very high bar for the planned downtown arena -- nothing less than the most technologically advanced venue in the country." At first glance, the design "delivers on their promise" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 1/28).

Syracuse Univ. on Friday "released its letter to Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner detailing its vision for a new 44,000 seat sports arena with a retractable roof," according to Dave Tobin of the Syracuse POST-STANDARD. The letter was "written by Irwin P. Raij, a partner in the law firm of Foley & Lardner, SU's consultant for the project." The letter states that the $495M arena plan "has never involved funding from the city of Syracuse, and has not reached a point of formal agreement." Plans include "additional development of a 250-room hotel, over 160 apartments and 150,000 feet of retail space." But the estimated cost "does not include parking or land acquisition." There also is "no plan for use of the current Carrier Dome or its site," and the school "would be a tenant, not an owner" at the new facility. The arena would be funded through "a public-private financing plan with investment from the state, Onondaga County and the private sector, including SU." The favored site for the arena "is the former Kennedy Square public housing property" (Syracuse POST-STANDARD, 1/25).

N.Y. Mayor Bill de Blasio yesterday said that he "supports legislation" to revoke the $16M annual property tax break that Madison Square Garden "will receive forever." de Blasio: "We can't ask the taxpayers to look the other way while a very well-endowed corporation, a profitable corporation, receives a tax cut for a piece of land that is among the most valuable on earth." But in N.Y., Blain & Lovett note New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo "opposes overturning the break" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/28).

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT: In DC, Steven Goff wrote the "lopsided results" of a recent poll showing opposition to public financing for a proposed MLS DC United stadium are "not necessarily a referendum on United and soccer," but rather "about public money contributing to United and soccer." One "must take into account lingering stadium fatigue." The public has been "gouged by" MLB and "the greedy Lerner family over financing of Nationals Park eight years ago." The office of DC Mayor Vincent Gray and United "will need to do a better job selling the project not as a soccer stadium but as a multi-use venue" (, 1/27).

DEMON DAYS: In Chicago, Danny Ecker reported the village of Rosemont, Ill., has "struck a three-year deal" with Louisville-based Brown-Forman Corp. "to build the first-ever stage-visible bar inside Allstate Arena." A new 2,300-square-foot space, which "will be branded as either the Jack Daniels Lounge or the Jack Daniels Old No. 7 Club, will be located inside the bowl on the arena's east end," and will be "open to the 21-and-over public during concerts and games." Financial terms were not released, but a source said that Brown-Forman "will pay Rosemont an annual sum 'in the low six figures' for branding rights, which include signage and other marketing in the arena" (, 1/27).

HONKY TONKIN': In Nashville, Michael Cass notes Mayor Karl Dean, Angels 1B Albert Pujols, and "hundreds of baseball fans" were on hand yesterday "to break ground on a new minor league ballpark" for the Triple-A PCL Nashville Sounds. MiLB President & CEO Pat O'Conner said, "I would be less than honest if I thought I would ever be standing here giving this speech today." The ballpark is scheduled to "open in time for" the '15 season "with room for 10,000" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 1/28).