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January 07, 2011
New Kings arena plans even vaguer than last batch
Of the four teams looking to develop a new Kings arena and entertainment complex in Sacramento, two don't have concrete finance plans while the other two must leap significant financial hurdles to bring their projects to fruition.
That's the rundown of a public hearing Thursday hosted by the task force reviewing the proposals — reconvened by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson after a team led by developer Gerry Kamilos failed to deliver after being selected last year to exclusively work on a new arena deal.
Fireworks flew when panel member Mark Harris, a professor and infrastructure finance expert, grilled Kamilos. Harris had previously compared Kamilos' three-party land swap proposal — between Cal Expo, property in the Railyards and Natomas land that houses Arco Arena &mdash to a game of three-card monte. This time, he said that statement was an insult to those practicing the three-card monte scam.
Yowsah! The "hurdles" facing the two plans that actually have plans include the need for approval from Cal Expo in the case of the Kamilos plan (the same thing that deep-sixed his previous arena proposal last year), and the reliance on selling 10,000 seat licenses plus $70 million in PILOT bonds in another, despite the fact that, as the Sacramento Business Journal notes, "representatives from the Natomas team couldn't answer the panel's questions on how those bonds would work." At this rate, I could become the frontrunner tomorrow with my plan to fund an arena with elfin magic.