Kevin Johnson wants to build a Sacramento soccer stadium for nonexistent team at unknown price

His city may have been rejected for now for an MLS expansion franchise, but Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson isn’t going to let that stop him from building a new soccer stadium regardless. KJ announced yesterday that he was launching “Operation Turkey,” a plan to — sorry, what? Oh, “Operation Turnkey.” Well, that does sound better, but you decide for yourself which one is more apropos:

One of the toughest tasks on the mayor’s list might be obtaining control of the proposed stadium site, located on the eastern end of the long-vacant downtown railyards…

City officials said the sticking point involves determining who will be responsible if additional toxic pollution is discovered in the ground…

Johnson appeared Wednesday to have softened his opposition and said he imagined the stadium as a public-private partnership. He pointed out the state has already invested million for roads and bridges in the railyards, but declined to say if would support a subsidy for the project.

Cost of said stadium? Unknown! Who’ll pay for it and how? Also unknown! When Sacramento might actually get an MLS team to play in it? You guessed it! Johnson says he hopes to have all this worked out by the end of this year, which bwahahahahaha, damn, he’s a funny guy.

11 comments on “Kevin Johnson wants to build a Sacramento soccer stadium for nonexistent team at unknown price

  1. Oh, he’s already made up his mind. And we’ll be paying for this, too.

    It’s important to know where this is with relation to the new arena, too: Just a few blocks away. They’re going to end up adding so much parking capacity that the arena’s premium parking lot is underused, because it’ll be so expensive. Then SBH will complain that the parking lot just isn’t making enough money, so they’ll need additional investments from the City.

    They’re not going to build zero parking next to this soccer stadium, and they’re not going to let that parking lot sit empty 320 days a year.

    Why is it always parking?

  2. As of the most recent renderings, there is no planned parking for the stadium unless they plan to put it under it. They talk about it being a “walkable” design and close to planned light rail stations.

    And, I agree with you about who will be paying – the taxpayers of the City of Sacramento. The kings are already making noise that they may not be able to build the ancillary development without an additional subsidy and some of the same people are involved in both projects. They will be demanding something. KJ has already directed the city manager to find money to conduct the feasibility study using city funds.

  3. If I owned the Rivercats, I know what I’d do: Open up the lot for $10 on arena event days.

    But I think there will have to be parking near that soccer stadium. They can render it without parking if they choose to do that, but if they’re being practical, they’ll realize that they’re going to need parking.

  4. Hey, check out this goal:

    All the more impressive coming from a non-existent team.

  5. RA: Just curious, you said “the Kings are already making noise that they may not be able to build the ancillary development without an additional subsidy”

    Where did you hear these rumblings?

  6. I heard the same rumor about the Kings needing subsidies for ancillary development back in 2013 when citizens were petitioning the city for a vote. I won’t identify my source but I will say they were very plugged in on this issue with the developers and city councilmembers.

    And Raley Field’s parking lot for arena parking? That will work, especially if Sacramento and West Sacramento get that streetcar built- which will be a glorified arena parking shuttle.

  7. One place the new subsidy was mentioned was in an editorial in the Bee – I also heard it on live news broadcasts around the same date with more certainty. Sorry, I can’t find links to those stories. Since nearly 100% of all economic benefit to the city from the arena is tied to the ancillary development, a subsidy is virtually guaranteed if it is requested (read demanded) by the kings.

    As for the streetcar, No on B signs are popping up in the area. Passing the funding is not a certainty regardless of what local media report. One of the signs reads: “The StreetCar Tax means: Higher Residential Rents, Higher Commercial Rents, Cuts in Light Rail Services, Cuts in Transit Services for the Poor, Another Gift to Billionaire Team Owners. Why squander Scarce City Resources on the Project? Vote No.”

    NotReadyForSomeFutbol makes a good point regarding the streetcar being a glorified arena parking shuttle. With the current planned route, the city garage on H Street (1,000 of the city’s 3,500 garage spaces) becomes a viable parking alternative for arena patrons. Without the streetcar, it is unlikely patrons will want the mile walk to the arena. Music Circus has been “assured” by the city that it won’t lose access to the garage they were required to help build for its patrons but I can see those promises disappear in a whiff of smoke if all these plans materialize.

  8. The streetcar vote is a toss-up. Despite the media hype that it was supported by big property owners in an advisory vote by property owners, a lot of small property owners (read, people who actually live and are registered to vote in real elections near the proposed streetcar line) voted no. Downtown and Midtown like Councilmember Hansen (who’s basically running the Yes on Streetcar campaign) but there are many unanswered questions about governance, cost, and viability compared to other transit options to close the deal. But hey, the folks who live downtown get a vote which is what should have happened with the arena project.

  9. Thanks RA. Here is the relevant portion:

    “Much of the economic boost from the arena would come from the surrounding $500 million development. Ranadive and Kings President Chris Granger acknowledged the “chatter” that they may seek another city subsidy – which would be problematic – but said it’s too early in the budgeting process to know for sure.”

    Read more here:

  10. One thing regarding the streetcar tax election that I have not been able to determine is if it is a weighted election, like the advisory vote which was basically a one-dollar-in-tax=one-vote, or a one-man=one-vote election. I do know that there has to be a two-thirds majority to pass