Sacramento pro-arena group holds press conference in cemetery, because that’s where dead people live

As several readers have now pointed out, when I wrote on Friday that the Sacramento Kings arena vote squabble couldn’t get any more ridiculous, I apparently spoke too soon:

A group supporting the construction of a Sacramento Kings arena is in hot water from both sides of the debate after holding a press conference in a cemetery on Friday.

I’m sorry, in a what?

The group clarified on Twitter that the location of the conference was meant to highlight signatures of dead people found on petitions submitted by Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork.

If you want video, you can find it here. At this rate, I think maybe Sacramento should give up on this whole basketball thing and just construct a building where people can buy tickets to watch STOP and The4000 face off for the next 30 years.

Share this post:

19 comments on “Sacramento pro-arena group holds press conference in cemetery, because that’s where dead people live

  1. Don’t mess with the “dead people” voting bloc. They’ve got pull and can even show up at the polling locations (24 dead people voted in Nov 2004 in WA, 10 of those at the polls).
    Two candidates in separate races in Washington state are winning in Tuesday’s election despite being dead.

  2. I seem to remember voting for Ted Weiss when he was dead. He was still slightly warm, though:

  3. When asked how many signatures of deceased people were found, (Joshua, director of The4000) Wood said “two”.

    They had a press conference in a cemetery because two people died, possibly after signing the petition?

    It’s also been pointed out that in the “comments” on several past Sacramento Bee stories, pro-arena people said they were going to sign the names of dead people just to mess up the petition drive.

  4. Well, cemeteries can be historical places, and since Sacramento is making an historical decision, it makes complete sense.

    (Sorry, I had to say it.)

    It turns out this is actually growing into a scandal. The managers of the cemetery claim that KJ made calls to arrange for a presentation at this site. The mayor’s office disputes this; he says The4000 arranged this spot. If KJ did this as a favor to The4000, I’d say that’s pretty bad.

  5. Unrelated: This column from Marcos Breton.

    Hey, Weasels, how’s it going? How are your cousins (the rats) doing?

  6. I have been involved in this circus, but I’m not very knowledgeable about the professional sports industry. If subsidy opponents successfully deal a blow to Goliath and a new arena doesn’t get built by the NBA’s arbitrary deadline, what happens? Can the NBA send the Kings packing? Isn’t that up to the team’s owners?

  7. kbredman, what we didn’t know immediately after the sale is that there’s a clause in the sales contract that if there’s no new arena in Sac by 2017, the NBA has the right to allow the team to move.

    How realistic does 2016 seem? Can they really start in June of 2014 and expect to open in October of 2016?

  8. Even if the arena were only partially built in 2017, does anyone really think the NBA would yank them away from a half-completed arena ?

  9. Arenas usually take a little over 2 years to build so with the November 2017 deadline that the NBA has set, you would need to have shovels in the ground by August of 2015 at the latest. Therefore, you wouldn’t have to worry about the possibility of an arena being half built and then have the team leave. You either break ground by August 2015 or you don’t break ground at all.

    If this arena thing falls apart, the NBA would have the right to take over the team and most likely would sell it to Chris Hansen in Seattle, assuming his deal doesn’t fall apart as well.

  10. @jmauro

    The NBA has the right to let teams move but must have a justifiable reason to do so. Since Sacramento apparently had an arena deal in place, they voted to block the Seattle sale and move and let them stay on the condition that they actually go through and build the arena. If shovels aren’t in the ground by August of 2015 then that means that the arena deal is still shakey and it would be justifiable to let them leave.

  11. Thanks for the responses. In a no-new-arena scenario, the NBA could LET the team leave, but my question is, could the NBA MAKE the team leave. Wouldn’t that be up to the owners – who have declared their undying love for Sacramento, even though most of them have never lived here. The City’s non-binding term sheet says that if we incur 35 years of bondage to pay for a new arena, the team can’t leave. I wonder if the NBA signed off on that. What if a new arena gets built but the City doesn’t pay for 3/4 of it?

  12. No, the NBA can’t make the team leave, and wouldn’t. But it can and would say to the city, “You don’t want this team to leave because you didn’t offer the owners a brand-new publicly funded arena, get my drift?”

    If Sacramento came back with “Hey, they’re welcome to build the same mostly-private arena here that Hansen wants to build in Seattle,” that would be … interesting, to say the least. When is KJ up for re-election?

  13. One aspect of this I’m curious about is the downtown location for a new arena, as compared to the existing arena site in North Natomas. The location of the current arena seems a much better choice. Is the NBA somehow dictating that a new arena must be at the downtown location, say via the team sales contract clause? or is this strictly the City deciding it must be downtown?

  14. I still think the biggest shame in all this is that they could simply convert the existing department store building to a Target, and get more tax revenue than an arena would ever bring. It would also attract far more people to that mall.

    As it is, I can’t see any reason for that Macy’s to stay open after the arena opens. No one will pay $25 to park so they can shop at Macy’s, and if Macy’s is deserted 120 nights/year, they’ll lose money rapidly. I think it’s likely you’ll see restaurants move into that mall, and they’ll be empty on non-event nights.

    And! They could do all this while building a new arena at the existing site, with or without taxpayer assistance.

  15. The NBA wouldn’t make them leave, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Ranadive, Hansen, Silver and Stern had a conference call in which Stern told them, in no uncertain terms, that he would force Ranadive to surrender the team. We haven’t seen the written contract; we never will. I’d say that clause is in there, subject to the usual “terms and conditions”, that is.

  16. A City Council member and another City employee can testify at the lawsuit over this arena.

    The argument against this is that McCarty is a Council member, which I think it a pretty weak-sauce argument. But it’s interesting that the City is fighting this. Makes them look like they have something to hide — and that’s the whole point.

  17. @kbredman

    Actually, the NBA can force ownership to relinquish control of the team to the league. It was written into the contract when the league agreed to block the sale to Hansen. No arena by 2017 and the league would have the right to buy the team back regardless of whether Ranadive wanted to or not. He agreed to those terms. That’s why breaking ground by 2015 is so important.

Comments are closed.