City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

July 3, 2012
Mayor Johnson: Arena 'Plan B' won't work, focus will broaden

Mayor Kevin Johnson's "Plan B" for a downtown arena is officially dead.

AEG, the international arena operator tapped to help fund a proposed arena in the downtown railyard, has determined the project does not make economic sense without an anchor sports tenant. The Sacramento Kings pulled out of a plan to help finance an arena earlier this year.

"The economics just didn't pencil out," the mayor said, describing AEG's concerns. AEG had previously agreed to contribute $58.75 million toward the arena in exchange for operating the facility and receiving a large chunk of the profits.

As a result, the mayor has shifted the focus of his Think Big arena committee to the broader downtown area. The committee will explore whether a proposal to generate cash out of the city's downtown parking operations can be used for other projects, including other sports complexes in the railyard, an entertainment district, corporate offices or a revamped Westfield downtown plaza.

Johnson said the city does not have the resources to do that work on its own.

"Think Big should compliment what the city is doing," the mayor said.

The first task for Think Big is exploring projects for the area in the railyard north of the proposed "intermodal" transit facility. The committee will continue to raise money from the private sector to fund its work.

Kunal Merchant, the committee's executive director, said Think Big had raised roughly $500,000 over the past year. That money largely came from sponsors who also contributed to the effort to help keep the Kings in town last spring.

The key to Think Big's work will be the parking idea. City officials have not abandoned an idea to create a public parking authority that could generate more than $200 million in upfront revenue for a downtown project.

"The fact that we have $250 million, it's got the interest of everybody," the mayor said.

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.



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

Poll

Does the Kings' poor performance of late impact the arena work?

FOLLOW US | Get more from sacbee.com | Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook | Watch Bee news, lifestyle videos | View our mobile versions | e-edition: Print edition online | What our bloggers are saying

Ryan Lillis on Twitter

Follow "Ryan_Lillis" on Twitter

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Sacramento City Resources

City Web Sites

How to contact city officials