Posts Tagged ‘Sacramento Kings arena’

Here we stay?

In Sports on May 20, 2014 at 7:27 PM

As I pen this, the city council of Sacramento is holding a “vote” to give the Sacramento Kings a new arena in Downtown. I say “vote” because anyone in this town knows that the local government will give them the new arena.

I have a few complaints about the new arena, simply because A) the team is horrible, and has been for several years. When Rick Addleman was the head coach, they actually managed to get to the playoffs; they lost to the Lakers every time, but they managed to get there. The second complaint is that the team may be able to afford the new arena, but the city can’t. The city can’t even afford to pay police officers and firefighters, but we have two billion dollars to give to the team for an arena that will be “old” in ten years?

The mayor of Sacramento, (a former basketball player and Kings member, I’d like to add) has devoted his entire mayoral reign to getting the new arena. The libraries are under funded, as are the area’s schools; hospitals can’t afford to take care of patients, but we can afford a new arena…
If the team where any good, OK, fine, give them a new arena. But the mayor decided not to try and keep Campbell’s Soup, or the Coca-Cola bottling plant here, but he fought hard and raised the money and called every big name in his Rolodex to keep the team. Right, way to be a mayor for the people.

The plan to put the arena in Downtown is flawed because the area they want to put the arena, the site of the now former Westfield’s Downtown Plaza (it’s being torn down to make room for the arena) doesn’t have the room. The Light rail there is a major transit hub for the city, a city that according to politicians, is too polluted and the same city politicians want us to take the public transit to get around town. They had plans to move it, but they realized…it would cost to much…more than two BILLION DOLLARS I guess…so they decided to incorporate that into the plans of the arena. That was changed; now it will be left alone and they will build into the available businesses there. They tried to claim emenate domain on the Macy’s there, but that failed, so they decided to build around it. Some time ago, the State Historical Society got a government code to force an easy access tunnel to Old Sac, and they have to leave that alone, so they had to change plans again.
The reason they are putting the arena where it is, is because the major sports teams in the big cities have them in their city’s downtown. The reason being that the other city’s downtown’s are bigger. Seriously, take a walk in downtown LA; try to go from one side to the other in one day. It cannot be done. Here, on the other hand, one could walk from one end to the other in a matter of hours.
Traffic is another problem there. It is already congested, and adding tour buses and limos is not going to ease that problem. The site that should have been chosen is the former air base McCellen. That site already has the infrastructure like parking, sewage, electricity and the like. The Downtown Plaza site does not. If you have ever driven a car down there, you will know. They have two bathrooms, one for each gender, and the arena is going to need at least sixty to seventy to accommodate the amount of people who are filling up on beer, soda, water, nachos and the like. Of course, in order to demolish an old airbase, you would need Presidential, or at least federal government’s approval, and that takes too long.
Not to be left out, is the fact that every, and I do mean EVERY downtown business there has supported the new arena, apparently forgetting that the city will raise taxes and rent on those same businesses who are loyal supporters because they will have anew arena, which, hypothetically, will increase foot traffic…
When the mayor and his political goons chose that site, they held  press conference and said that the new arena will bring back and revitalize the downtown area. People stopped going there because traffic and parking is a nightmare, partly due to the fact that people can’t walk two feet without being hit up for money because there is a bar on every other street. Traffic will become even more hellish when the arena is built. First will be the construction crews there followed by the team. People have been going to the Downtown Plaza – a lot of them. When they went there with their goons and saw no one is beyond me. Every time I have been down there, there has always been a tone of shoppers and people using the shortcut to Old Sac.

I am predicting that within the first year of that arena being built, someone will have tagged the signs, and the homeless population will skyrocket with the influx of people there. The arena, will, in all honesty, increase revenue for the city; it will. However, with the team being so bad at playing basketball, I doubt that after the first season, we will see a sellout crowd. I’m only giving the team the first year because the city will, as it has thus far, cling to it’s team., but after they keep losing games because they get terrible players, and only one or two nationally televized games (they had one last year…one single nationally televized game) then, the fans will see that maybe spending two billion dollars on an arena (not to mention that the investors and owners are worth far more than that, and they could have paid for this and kept all revenue) and some hundreds of millions of dollars to buy the team, may not have been a good idea…but I doubt it.

Who knows, maybe sometime in the future, they will finally see that the Kings are not worth the trouble and they will let them go to another city. I hear that Seattle wants a new team…

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