City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

March 30, 2011
Despite Kings news, Sacramento's arena efforts push forward

Anaheim may have opened the door to a Sacramento Kings move to Southern California on Tuesday by approving a $75 million bond package for improvements to the Honda Center. But that doesn't mean Sacramento City Hall and Kings fans are giving up on their own arena quests.

Developer David Taylor and arena builder ICON Venue Group are still working on their arena financial feasibility study and are expected to present their results at the end of May, city officials said Tuesday night.

Meantime, KHTK sports radio's Carmichael Dave has started a "Here We Build" fundraising driving to help get a new arena built. Supporters have set the lofty goal of raising $200 million and have already set up digital billboards on the freeways. The campaign just started, but there is a website and a Twitter hashtag: #HereWeBuild.

At City Hall, Assistant City Manager John Dangberg told the City Council that Taylor and ICON were "moving forward regardless of what happens in Anaheim" and that they've made significant progress.

Now, Taylor has said building an arena without an anchor tenant such as the Kings would be more difficult than if the team were here. And the Kings have made no indication that they're interested in working with the developer on his arena study.

But there are places where arenas work without a major sports tenant.

In Kansas City, for example, the Sprint Center hosts concerts and Big 12 college basketball, but doesn't have a major league basketball or hockey tenant. Still, the arena, which opened in 2007, was the second-busiest in the nation during the third quarter of 2010, according to Pollstar Magazine.

So what do you think? Should Sacramento City Hall move forward on studying an arena plan? I know this conversation inevitably comes back to the taxpayers, but what if Taylor tells us there's a way to build a facility through rental car or hotel taxes?

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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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