Published in the Sacramento Bee Newspaper
Now that the kickoff pep rallies for a new arena are over, it’s time to put away the pompoms and take a more sober look at the proposed arena financing deal, which is starting to show a few cracks.
First, let’s dispense with the scarcely believable claim that the arena isn’t all about the Sacramento Kings. Every time proponents try to spin that yarn, the deal becomes less credible. This is a basketball arena for the Kings; and like the former Arco Arena, other promotions will get a chance to use it.
I recently met with a representative from Think Big Sacramento, the mayor’s regional arena group, who invoked the Sprint Center in Kansas City more than a dozen times. That arena was built with a menu of funding sources – including a rental car tax that required voter approval. So, if Think Big is trying to allay concerns over the end-run around voters, perhaps they shouldn’t invoke a deal that was actually approved by voters.