City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

February 13, 2012
Sacramento officials hope to present arena finance plan Feb. 28

In what would likely be the make-or-break moment of the city's work toward building a new downtown sports arena, city officials are hoping to seek City Council approval of a financing plan for the facility at the Feb. 28 council meeting.

That meeting will come two days before an NBA-imposed deadline for Sacramento to have a funding plan or risk losing the Sacramento Kings. While all sides have been working on the financing "term sheet" for weeks, City Council approval of the plan on Feb. 28 is likely the step the NBA is looking for to be convinced an arena plan is a reality here, officials said.

That term sheet will not only include the city's contribution to the $387 million project, but would also involve contributions from the NBA and/or the Kings, private arena operator AEG and the facility's development team.

Most of the city's contribution would come in the form of leasing downtown parking to a private company, an arrangement officials are hopeful will generate as much as $200 million. At the Feb. 28 meeting, city staff also plans to identify a plan for backfilling the $9 million that parking operations currently contribute to the general fund budget.

While it's unclear how close the sides are to finalizing the term sheet, Assistant City Manager John Dangberg told me "we're all pulling in the same direction."

"We're working very closely with all the parties here, working through a lot of issues and everyone at the table is working hard to put a deal together," he said.

Dangberg said he also plans to lay out the city's arena budget for the months that follow the March 1 deadline - a budget that would likely include money for staff and consultant time. The city will also eventually need to issue a formal request for proposals seeking bids from the private sector for its parking, a process expected to cost $1 million or more.

Before the city gets to Feb. 28, however, the council will be asked Tuesday to allow staffers to dive into deeper discussions with 10 firms seeking to lease parking operations.

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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


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