Kings arena deal tweaked again, media losing interest in explaining it

The Sacramento city council voted last night to change the list of properties being given to the Kings owners in a land swap, substituting three downtown parcels for 60 acres at Haggin Oaks golf course, and … man, even I’m having a hard time caring about this, especially considering that the new parcels are estimated to be about equal in value to the old one, and either way it’s only about $3 million, which is a drop in the bucket compared to all the money Sacramento would already be spending in the deal. What else you got?

The council also voted Tuesday to change the arena term sheet to allow the city to own the land under the planned arena; the city had already decided to own the arena itself.

Wait, now this is interesting! Would it change the property tax payments the Kings would be responsible for? Give the city a new asset that it could use if the Kings eventually move out? Tell us, Sacramento Bee!

Dangberg said allowing the city to control both the land and arena will “greatly simplify our agreement.”

Call The Bee’s Ryan Lillis, (916) 321-1085. Read his City Beat blog at

The draft environmental impact report for the Kings arena was also released this week; you can read it here in advance of tonight’s Sacramento council meeting, or just wait for the terrible coverage in tomorrow’s Bee.

10 comments on “Kings arena deal tweaked again, media losing interest in explaining it

  1. Eugene…Phil Knight hires engineers and architects to design new basketball arena…Phil Knight hires contractors to build new basketball arena…Phil Knight arranges financing for new basketball arena and provides his own financial backing to support those others who would buy bonds…Phil Knight gives basketball arena to University of Oregon for basketball and any other student activities…
    hopefully the University will not go bankrupt with upkeep…

    Sacramento…NBA tells Sacramento to pay for a new basketball arena, to give developers land for new basketball arena, NBA gets a developer, Friedman, who lives on the public dole to develop area around basketball arena at Sacramento EXPENSE because, gee whiz, this will make all the difference for downtown Sacramento…

    Well holy cow…Sacramento has spent the last 40 years developing and redeveloping downtown to the tune of 100s of millions of TAXPAYER dollars….

    But now this “give away” fraud is just sure to miss

    Sacramento goes bankrupt…

    Eugene opens its arena with Nadal playing Federer with McEnroe as ump and Sharapova plays somebody…Knight pays…

    Sacrament opens its new arena in the year 2030 with an impostor ZZ Top group imported from Elko Nevada

  2. Well, it turns out “equal value” for the 60 acres vs the 3 different plots isn’t quite true. A car dealer recently purchased land from the City directly adjacent to the 60 acres, for about $400,000/acre. The original term sheets said the land is worth $60,000/acre. Quite a discrepancy, and the Council was about to be “found out.”

    This still doesn’t answer how the City will acquire the land under the arena. I see nothing in the term sheets about acquiring that land. The current owner is balking at selling it. Some speculation on the use of eminent domain here — the Council already passed a resolution to use it for this land. So this could be the start of a very large amount of money changing hands.

    One of the anti-arena activists produced a very ranty letter objecting to all this, and I don’t think letters like this help much (it’s a pdf, sorry about that).

  3. I thought the plot of land for the Macys was put to a bankruptcy auction and then bought up by a group of land speculators. They did a good job speculating that plat’s importance if a downtown arena was to be built.

  4. ChefJoe, I certainly had not heard that. Does it really matter who owns it now? What really matters is how the City will acquire it. I’m speculating when I say I think they’ll try for eminent domain, but I think that’s the plan.

    What I’d really like to know, though, is do people really think they’re helping themselves when they write letters like Eye on Sacramento did? I appreciate this guy’s message, but he needs an editor.

  5. “I thought the plot of land for the Macys was put to a bankruptcy auction and then bought up by a group of land speculators. They did a good job speculating that plat’s importance if a downtown arena was to be built.”

    hard to say, they probably would prefer working with a buyer that did not have the option of claiming eminent domain

  6. Claiming eminent domain doesn’t mean you just take it. It means you have to sell it, and you get fair market value for it. That’s where things get pretty hard, because there’s a perfectly usable building on that land. You cannot say it has a value of zero. It’s not the most luxurious building in Northern California, but it’s certainly usable. If the City offers too little, you’re looking at legal system delays.

  7. The claim of 4,000 new jobs is debunked in an unlikely place: The draft EIR.

    The Bee won’t explain this one. Too hard.

  8. Well, I think this is fairly interesting, but it also would mean their funding model — relying on parking revenues — would go all to heck:

    R/T officials think up to 20% of event-goers would use light rail. Let’s go with that. 20% of 15,000 is 3,000 people. One light rail train comes every 15 minutes in each of 3 directions at that point — towards Meadowview, towards Folsom, and towards Watt (don’t worry, there won’t be a quiz on this). Figure 1,000 will go in each of these directions; so 1,000 will go to Meadowview. You can’t get on the first train; you can’t get on the second train; you finally get on the third train, 45 minutes later.

    Here’s the problem: You can drive to the Meadowview station in 15 minutes with no traffic. Oh, and by the way, you’d then get into your car and drive home.

    It takes me 20 minutes to get home from STA by car now. You’d be looking at potentially 1 hour using R/T.

    I know, boring math again, makes it irrelevant. Tough beans. This isn’t the NYC subway, which actually is efficient.

  9. The Sacramento News and Review just came out with this excellent piece on the proposed Sacramento arena:

  10. The229 just came out with a new report that claims $11.5B in economic impact:

    Does anyone else get the feeling this came from a drinking contest? Loser makes up a number, and after they get over their hangover, they release it. Just for laughs.

    I’m laughing at them, not with them.

    And gee, think they’ll ask for a subsidy on the rest of the project?