City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

February 8, 2011
Council chooses developer Taylor to analyze arena feasibility

By Ryan Lillis
rlillis@sacbee.com

In 90 days, Sacramento City Hall is counting on having a clear idea about whether building a new sports arena in town is realistic.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to spend the next three months working with downtown developer David Taylor and arena builder ICON Venue Group in analyzing the financial feasibility of building a new sports facility.

After that study is complete, city staff will conduct its own analysis and bring it back to the council. The financial feasibility study will be free for the city.


Taylor said his first task would be trying to meet with the Kings, a process he said he would start this morning. Team ownership has stopped speaking publicly about the arena process.

Mayor Kevin Johnson said, "it seems to me (the Kings) would sit down with them."

"I think we sent a very strong and resounding message to the NBA and the Kings today that it's a new day in Sacramento," the mayor said. "Give us a chance because I think we've got the right team. It's a vote of confidence for the Kings when they hear that council voted 9-0 and we selected this group."

Taylor is among the most successful developers in downtown Sacramento. His projects include the 25-story U.S. Bank Tower on Capitol Mall, the 500-room Sheraton Grand Hotel on J Street, the 23-story Esquire and Imax building on K Street and the new City Hall, where Tuesday's vote took place.

ICON, based in Colorado, has built more than two dozen arenas and stadiums around the world, including Denver's Pepsi Center and the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

A mayoral task force last month recommended the council work with the Taylor/ICON group. Johnson arranged for Taylor and ICON to join forces in December.

Taylor told the council Tuesday that this is a pivotal time for the city as it grapples with the issue. He said downtown would be the most beneficial site for an arena.

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at rlillis@sacbee.com

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