Friday, September 9, 2011

Task force releases Kings arena plan

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A task force established by Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson recommended a rough plan Thursday to raise about $400 million to build a downtown arena, a key step in the city's efforts to keep the NBA's Kings.

The plan announced by the Think Big Sacramento committee gives a menu of financing options to build an entertainment and sports complex near downtown, with the NBA franchise as the primary tenant.

The group proposes a three-way plan combining user fees with public money and private investment to generate $400 million without broad tax increases. The proposal also includes ideas about leasing city parking spaces to a private company, which could generate millions more.

The NBA has given Sacramento until March to come up with an arena financing plan or it will consider allowing the Kings to relocate, perhaps to Anaheim.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, the Kings organization praised the report and said the team looks forward to continuing to work with the city and other interested parties.

The proposed sports complex "will bring substantial economic benefits to the entire region and we hope will enable the team to continue playing in Sacramento," the statement said.

Backers say developing the arena would generate more than 4,000 construction jobs, bring an additional 3 million potential customers downtown each year and generate more than $7 billion in revenue over its lifetime, all without a general tax increase.

The plan will be presented to the City Council next week. via ESPN