Take this with a grain of salt, but: AEG, the entertainment giant that is trying to build an NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles, is reportedly “interested” in being part of a Sacramento Kings arena project.
“We have made the mayor aware that … any assistance he would like to ask us for, we would be interested,” AEG spokesperson Michael Roth said on Friday. (Oddly, none of the news outlets reporting this indicate what Roth said in the ellipsis. I’m willing to make my own guess, though.)
This is likely just tire-kicking: “Sure, if you figure out a way to build an arena, we’d love to manage it. We still get to pay ourselves guaranteed profits before the city sees a dime for repaying its debt, right?” Still, the announcement provides a smidgen of momentum for the arena plans, which is a smidgen more than they had yesterday.
In related news, meanwhile, the Sacramento city council is set to vote tomorrow on a city plan to spend $555,000 to hire a consultant to analyze its arena proposals and negotiate with the Kings. That price tag is about par for the course, and isn’t a terrible idea — as noted here previously, one reason cities often get stuck with terrible leases is because they don’t have experts on their side — but it all depends on what they’re buying. The biggest contract would go to Barrett Sports Group, which has a long record of working for both government and team clients, which is promising; their website also prominently features a quote from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on their expertise in “finding solutions to the always-complex challenge of developing stadium facilities,” which is less so, given that you want an arena evaluator to tell you whether to build a new building, not just how to do so.