Members of Mayor Kevin Johnson's arena team hopped on a bus in El Dorado Hills this morning to begin a four-county sales pitch of building a new facility.
The centerpiece of the sales pitch was a report the group released showing that most people who attended events at Power Balance Pavilion during a three-year period live outside Sacramento County. The numbers for the analysis were provided by the NBA and Sacramento Kings.
Placer County residents made up 13 percent of those attending events at the arena, the highest number among those living outside Sacramento, according to the study. San Joaquin County residents made up 8 percent of event goers, and Solano and Yolo County residents each made up 6 percent.
For basketball games, 38 percent of those in attendance came from the city of Sacramento. For non-basketball events, city residents made up just 21 percent of spectators.
Now, the arena committee's task will be convincing people living outside the city of Sacramento that pitching in on the arena's financing is acceptable. To that end, the group was scheduled to make stops today in Roseville, Davis and Rancho Cordova after it left El Dorado Hills on a bus.
El Dorado County Supervisor John Knight said his constituents have told him "let's be open and explore" contributing to the project, but that a sales tax is very likely off the table. And, he said, support for paying for the project decreases the farther you get from Sacramento.
"You get to South Lake Tahoe and the answer is probably, 'No,'" said Knight, who represents El Dorado Hills and Cameron Park. "But in El Dorado Hills and Cameron Park there is an openness to explore the possibility."