KJ announces Kings committee, arena principles

Apparently not satisfied with the idea of selling quarter-million-dollar PSLs, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has a new idea for building a new Kings arena: He’s convening a task force to solicit ideas for funding an arena. He doesn’t know who’ll be on the task force yet, but it’s apparently based on one that former Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna Jr. formed in 1996 to bring major-league baseball to Sacramento, and since that worked out so well … oh, wait.

Judging from the text of his speech, Johnson’s self-appointed role yesterday seemed to be that of motivational speaker: “Look out those windows. Let yourself dream. You will see there are many options — options everywhere. Let’s get after them.” But the mayor also set out what he called four “guiding principals” (that’s how his blog spells it) for arena negotiations:

Rule Number One: Taxpayer Comes First. The deal must make sense for taxpayers.

Rule Number Two: City Will Not Be Used As Leverage. We won’t be a stalking horse for another city.

Rule Number Three: We Will Negotiate On Even Terms. We will have the best lawyers and consultants.

And Rule Number Four: We Must Think In and Out of The Box. Our arena will be an engine for economic development, not just a pretty building.

Well, there’s a first time for everything, I suppose. Once the task force issues its findings, be sure to check back here for how well they match up with KJ’s scorecard.

One comment on “KJ announces Kings committee, arena principles

  1. In a way, I suppose KJ’s idea isn’t a bad one. However, I think it puts the cart before the horse. Sacramento’s corporate presence is quite dismal, and it seems to me that when Sacramento’s average income is $46k while San Jose’s is $83k, there’s only so many $120 seats you can sell.

    The Cal Expo effort has basically imploded at this point, and KJ can’t let Sacramento’s arena dreams die with that effort. In that respect, he’s doing the right thing. But Sacramento’s biggest businesses are restaurants — not banks, not trading firms, not computer companies. Until that changes, I just don’t think there’s much call for new arenas.