QuickPoll: Is the arena deal a good thing?
[This QuickPoll, open Feb. 27-29, is now closed.] It's being reported that the Sacramento Kings and the city have come to terms to build a new arena. How do you feel about this?
How will this arena deal and quadrupled downtown city parking rates affect downtown merchants? Also, why would anyone invest in bankrupt inept businessmen, the Maloofs?
I understand that you might be against this arena plan, but where exactly did you come up with the quadrupled parking rates idea? I like to consider myself pretty well educated with this arean plan, and no where have I heard this. Please provide your source so the rest of us can be educated. It is my understanding that part of the parking lease would include a clause that would limit any changes to the parking rates.
As for the downtown merchants already there, I see no disadvantage of bringing 15,000-20,000 additional people to the area on event nights. In fact, I would expect these merchants to be giddy at the idea of the potential increase in business.
Finally, I don't see this as an investment in the Maloofs, but rather an investment on the City of Sacramento and the surrounding areas. The City will still own the building, and the potential economic impact to the city can't be ignored ($6-7 billion dollars over 30 years, 2000+ jobs created to build the arena, 400+ full time jobs at the arena, etc).
Statistics show Arenas are a revenue loss for cities, and create additional blight. So how will Sac make up the revenue loss from the General Fund that the parking now provides? Why won't the Council allow a public vote on this major revenue swap if its such a win-win? Predictably the taxpayers, who previously voted down such Arena financing plans, will eventually get stiffed on this ill-conceived deal and end up paying for the bankrupt Maloof's cushy digs and hobby. You didn't cite a source for your grandiose economic impact numbers. I'm not against a new arena; just don't stick it to the taxpayers.
There's no doubt that if things aren't done well, the situation could turn out like Chicago's. However, I would imagine that Kevin Johnson and the developers have already educated themselves on this matter considering all it took was a simple Yahoo search by you to find the information. One thing I've learned through following this process closely is that Kevin Johnson has repeatedly stated that the taxpayers will be protected, as have the other members of the Sacramento City Council.
By leasing out the parking, the city is going to have to find a way to replace approximately $9 million in annual revenue to the general fund. Just last night, Sacramento County has pledged approximately $3 million to the city from parking revenue from County owned lots near the proposed arena. Another $2.5 million is expected to come from a 3-5% ticket surcharge on all events at the arena. In addition, the city will receive a split of the parking revenue from the leased parking lots for all events at the arena (I haven't found anywhere that estimates this value). Additional revenue is expected to come from selling advertising on the arena as well as cell phone towers attached to the arena. Obviously, I haven't proved that $9 million has been covered, but then again, the entire plan isn't even completed. Nonetheless, I think KJ and the leaders are on the right track.
As for the blight caused by arenas, I'm not sure I agree with this 100%. Perhaps in some places, but AT&T park in SF has revitalized the area it is located, as have arenas in Denver, Memphis, and Orlando. Plus, have you been to downtown Sacramento lately? I'm not sure it can get any worse!
County Contribution and Parking Lease Options: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/29/4299167/sacramento-writing-up-the-terms.html
Hope it works. Obviously I'm not nearly as optimistic as you about any financial deal with the Maloof clowns. If only they would retreat to their Las Vegas loves/vices, and leave the Kings in Sacramento with a local financier/owner and arena, whose heart is really in Sacramento. Guess we'll be able to scrutinize the details of this "deal" this Thursday, when released.