Sacramento’s $387m arena proposal includes no payment plan, parking

Playing a bit of catchup here after an extra-long Memorial Day weekend, so please be patient as we gather in all the loose threads of stadium and arena battles from around North America. First off, the Sacramento Kings arena plan, which showed up on Thursday and, as predicted, included no actual financial details at all:

The report concluded that a new arena would best be located in the downtown rail yards, would cost about $387 million and would require a private/public partnership. However, developers said they were not yet ready to identify specific funding sources.

“The financing is always going to be a little more dicey,” said council member Sandy Sheedy, who said she wants more information about how a possible transient-occupancy tax — better known as a hotel tax — would work.

Also a problem: The arena plan doesn’t include any on-site parking. “I’d say enjoy the walk, and buy a meal on the way, and enjoy downtown, and use light rail and the train system and don’t drive,” developer David Taylor told KCRA-TV following Thursday’s presentation, which may be the first time anyone in history has told Californians not to drive while keeping a straight face. It still doesn’t beat D.C. baseball aide Stephen Green’s suggestion that having a too-small subway station would encourage fans to stick around and go shopping after the game for wackiest transit-related sports rationalization, but it’s up there.


15 comments on “Sacramento’s $387m arena proposal includes no payment plan, parking

  1. FYI – In regards to parking, given it’s the state capital there are around 8,000 state and city parking spots within within a half mile of the spot where they want to build the arena (does not include private spots and most are in garages). They are mostly vacant past 5:30pm during the week.

  2. And there’s also another problem with using public transit: Sacramento R/T closes at 9. So are all home games going to start at 5:30 now, just in case?

    Sure, they can extend R/T hours to 11 on event nights, but I’d ask who’s going to pay for that? Besides, it’d turn a now-simple 30 minute drive back to Placer County into a 90 minute ordeal.

    And there’s also the issue of freeway access. Those offramps and onramps back up during normal business days already. Asking people to walk 3 blocks to the closest lot, then leaving that lot and using the existing onramps to get home would be a complete disaster. Moving the arena to that location will also turn the commute back to Roseville into a 90 minute ordeal.

    I also believe, Neil, that a hotel and rental car tax will be subject to a public vote. Read the analysis of Prop 26 and see if you agree. To me, it’s very clear.

    www.voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/26/analysis.htm

  3. Mike – Pretty sure the whole point of getting public money to build it downtown is for people to spend money downtown in the neighborhood outside of the arena so I don’t think the city minds whether it takes a great deal longer to get to the arena from Roseville.

  4. John, that’d be a monster PR disaster. It takes 30 minutes now, but after they get a new arena, it’d be faster for NBA fans living in Davis to get home from Oracle than the new PBP? Heads would roll.

    Anyway, I think Prop 26 will force a vote. Nothing else really matters if there’s a vote. It won’t pass. Most people don’t want this.

  5. Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters wrote this column for the Fresno Bee, regarding Stockton’s impending bankruptcy partially brought on by Stockton’s arena woes. Strangely enough, it hasn’t appeared in the Sacramento Bee:

    www.fresnobee.com/2011/05/30/2408306/stockton-might-be-next-to-go-bankrupt.html

  6. I see now that Walters’ column is in the Sacramento Bee:

    www.sacbee.com/2011/05/31/3664690/dan-walters-california-cities.html

  7. John, I’m not seeing the 8,000 City parking spots within 1/2 mile of 5th and H. Take a look at this map:

    www.cityofsacramento.org/transportation/dot_media/parking_media/pdf/Off_Map.pdf

    Lots 293, 296 and 297 would go away, leaving you with Westfield and Old Sac. All the other City lots are way more than 1/2 mile away (no one’s going to park at 10th and I and walk to 5th and H, especially in the winter).

    I don’t have the stats in front of me, but Westfield and Old Sac doesn’t look like 8,000 spots to me.

    State lots would not be open to the public, but where are the state lots? Are there any?

    I would expect plenty of on-street restrictions on event-nights. They do this in other cities.

  8. And if Mayor KJ wants to bring in Sacramento County and other neighboring counties to set up a Joint Powers Authority for this arena, he’ll be asking a lot of conservative voters (I’m looking at you Placer and El Dorado Counties) to support a tax increase.

    If I’m not mistaken, the Stockton Arena referenced above is owned by the City and an outside party manages it- just like the arrangement that will likely be proposed for Sacramento.

  9. There’s nothing specifically wrong with that setup (city-owned, privately managed) – in theory, at least, it gets you an expert arena manager who can increase revenues and then cut the taxpayers in on the profits. Assuming there are any profits, of course, which is the catch.

    On the parking thing, are people in Sacramento really going to walk even half a mile from their cars to a basketball game? In my experience, in most of the country (and pretty much all of the West), people get upset if they have to walk from their cars to the curb.

  10. Neil, you really don’t know how lucky you are to have the New York City subway. It was so easy, even a sleep-deprived rookie from Sacramento had figured out how to get from near the WTC site (where we stayed# to Chinatown, AMNH, Central Park, MSG, and so on, within about an hour of getting to NYC.

    Here, we have light rail that closes at 9. How do you get from downtown Sac to Roseville #25 miles away) at 10 p.m., when our mass transit system closes at 9 p.m.? That isn’t a matter of wanting to drive; it’s a matter of having no choice.

    I mean, taxis, I guess.

    You really have to be here to see what’s going on. Even 2,000 cars wanting to get out in a 20 minute timeframe from that lot under Westfield Mall will overtax the garage to the breaking point. Those local streets aren’t ready for this at all.

    And that’s for the closest garage. I work in the vicinity of City Hall; only a 10 minute walk, but how far do you get in 10 minutes once you’ve left MSG? You’re on the train, headed back to… Wherever you want.

    You’re comparing one of the best subways there is to light rail. That’s closed.

    Staying around for another year was very ill-advised. Maybe Anaheim wasn’t the preferred destination, and that’s what this is really all about. The NBA was hoping Vegas, Seattle, KC or Louisville would become more viable in that one year period.

    They’re going to be forced to seek a public vote on this, and a public vote is going to fail. Not only that, but it will have to be a special election, this November, which means they must have the language finalized by the middle of August.

    This was a huge waste of time. Sorry.

  11. I guess I’d say the latest here is that KJ will announce his arena commission members later this week.

    www.sacbee.com/2011/06/01/3667658/sacramento-mayor-johnson-plans.html

    Sixty members. That’s more members than the State Senate has.

    They seem to be leaning towards a regional approach, but I don’t think that’s being accepted well. Read the article, you’ll see what I mean.

  12. One part of the Taylor-ICON study that hasn’t had much coverage yet is that the plan assumes the land will be free. There is no line-item in the study that mentions the purchase of land.

    The City just paid $52M for that land.

    www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2011/01/13/city-strikes-deal-for-downtown-railyard.html

    I just think this entire deal is looking worse and worse. It’s just boring details, I know, but isn’t that where the devil is usually hidden?

    And if they don’t build a new parking facility for this arena, at a minimum, they’ll need to improve the current ones.

    What a scam. I’m in the wrong business.

  13. @ Neil: I don’t see the parking situation being much of a problem. Our Triple A baseball stadium, Raley Field, is a few blocks from the proposed downtown arena site, across the river in West Sac. Many, if not most folks park in downtown Sac and walk several blocks to Raley Field and we lead the PCL in attendance every year. It’s actually a nice walk across the river via the Tower Bridge. The city provides free shuttles but most folks, including my family, prefer to walk. It actually adds to the experience. The other nice feature about the downtown site is there will be a light rail station at the arena entrance, which Arco doesn’t have. My family lives out in the boonies in El Dorado County and we would much rather park at the Folsom station and take the light rail to the game than drive. Most of the time we would prefer to hang out downtown after the game than go straight home anyway. I think the new plan looks great. Folks I know are very excited about it.

  14. I dont understand people who always are negative thinkers, like why something cant get done why its impossible. Its not that difficult, there is no comparing one city to another, for example:stockton’s arena failure to bring revenue or revitalize their city. Sacramento has a pro team in place and a more centralized location and a better entertainment groupo handling the operation of the facility. Anyways try thinking positive Sacramento a can do attitude is whats called for to re-energize the economy, locally and state wide. Thank you.

  15. The proposal for the new Kings arena appears to include a provision that David Taylor and possibly his cronies will end up owning the arena.

    David Taylor is an insiders insider. He has recieved hundreds of millions of public dollars in all NO BID contracts to build in Sacramento. He has become a BILLIONAIRE off the backs of tax payers because he is well connecected and probably funds every city council candidate.

    Just say no to corporate welfare!

    Join us on our new facebook page – search:

    “No Public Funds for a New Sacramento Kings Arena”