Mayor Kevin Johson announced today that a Plan B for an arena inthe downtwon railyards was dead. Here’s a sampling of the local buzz on the topic:
Storified by Melissa Corker · Tue, Jul 03 2012 14:55:28
Melissa Corker is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter @MelissaCorker.
AEG’s main interest in this project was keeping the Kings out of southern California, a move that would have jeopardized their $500 million media deal there. Without a guarantee that the Kings would stay put, they no longer had any reason to support an entertainment venue proposal here in Sacramento. So much for the “public-private partnership.”
You have got to be kidding!!! You honestly think the Kings were a threat to the Lakers.. and thathe media deal was put to bed some time ago.
Just once it would be nice to see a comment from you with some VISION instead of carping. The real question is why were we pursuing basketball in the first place. There is a reason it has the smallest venue of any of the major league sports. If anyone bother to look at school sports we should have gone after Major League Soccer. A Canadian city had over 59,000 attend an opening day. It would be a sport we would not be competing with the Bay area for an audience.
You’re right that deal is old – but it would dissolve with a third team in the region.
@Rhys02: William is 100% right about AEG’s involvement here. YOU have got to be kidding about the pro soccer drawing more than pro basketball.
Sacramento has an opportunity to be brilliant, innovative and inspiring….let this development project be a social-economic experiment of historical measure–not just another carbon copy of every other big city–It’s time to Think Bigger than just Big.
Better yet, stop thinking big!
It was the Mayors campaign pledge that he knew did not have a chance in hell.
Apple wants a new facility – they’ve been looking at Reno because of the offer of tax incentives there. Maybe we should just give the entire Railyards to Apple and let them develop it into whatever they need. They’d probably love being right on the rail line.
Then it would make sense to develop more downtown housing for Apple workers. And those Apple workers would eat, drink, and buy in the downtown core. They could walk to work, ride bikes and lightrail, and get to and from the Bay Area on the train without ever starting a car.
And the old Post Office could become the coolest ever, mega-Apple Store.
Apple is looking for low state taxes too.
They want some kind of incentive. The exact nature of an incentive doesn’t necessarily matter as much as the financial effect over time of the incentive. If I give you a $100m piece of land and then charge you the 10% property tax a year for 10 years on the market value, you’ve paid out $100m. If I make you buy the land for $100m but then exempt you from taxes for 10 years, you’ve paid out $100m. Either way you’ve saved $100m on the true total of purchase price PLUS tax.
It can be structured an infinite number of ways. And there are also transportation savings and time advantages to being half as far away from the home base, which has value, along with the extremely convenient existing infrastructure around the site.
Some deals like this require a specific number of employees to be hired from within a local area in order for the incentive to kick in. And/or for certain materials to be sourced locally. Right now we have a derelict site with few prospects – the City was considering hocking it’s garages and pouring $250m into a risky venture, amortized over 30-50 years with an asset that might have been good for 20-25. A deal doesn’t have to be all that great to be better than that.
Swings and roundabouts.
A giant datacenter like the Apple/Reno deal isn’t a good fit for the Railyards even if the local and state tax situation were ideal (which they are not).
But the meat of Tony’s message is spot on. Instead of chasing arena-shaped rainbows, how about if Sacramento instead applied “Think Big” levels of energy and focus on developing assets to attract actual businesses to Sacramento?.
Forget about Nevada or Texas, right now Sacramento can’t even compete with our own suburbs for attracting and incubating technology businesses.
Cuz the Laguna deal worked so well way back when? Don’t hold yer breath, folks.
While I agree that Tony’s idea has merit, I’m not sure it is realistic. Mountain View is a great example of how a city has been transformed by luring tech companies who have made that area an economic engine. Sacramento needs a diversity of high-end jobs. When government suffer, the region suffers. Workers get furloughed, stop spending money and businesses go bankrupt. We need to provide incentive but should not give away the farm.
If it is our dream to have an NBA team, why can’t the NBA create another team for Sacramento? Let the Maloofs, and what little is left of the family fortune, go to Anaheim. There were several interested suitors who wanted to purchase the Kings. Someone will want to have a team here. Let’s focus on finding that person and forget the Maloofs. How about Mayor Johnson use his clout to make some magic happen?
I don’t think the answer to downtown development is something (whatever it might be) that brings people in a tidal wave of activity once or twice a week. Downtown needs a critical mass of urban-minded residents who will live and work within that end of the grid. We need people who will eat and buy things here – we’ve lost most of the big box stores and auto sales (and their sales taxes) to the surrounding cities and unincorporated areas. People who work in the City but live somewhere tend to do their shopping somewhere else. If we don’t get more people living and spending within the City, we’ll need some kind of payroll tax on folks who work here but live somewhere else. Or two-tiered parking fees for residents and non-residents, after all the non-resident employees are using City services on a daily basis.
The NBA’s business model is based on a monopsony: more people want the product than there are available products, which allows the provider of that product to demand a higher price and create competition among those who want the product. If they expanded the league to include all the cities who want NBA teams, cities would stop offering loans, tax deals, partnerships, public land, and other billion-dollar amenities to the NBA in return for being selected. And if every city that wanted a team had one, teams wouldn’t be able to cajole future public gifts and other measures of public support by making noises about moving to another city.
I’m sure Mountain View is a fine little place, but it’s a suburb of San Jose, less than 20% the size of Sacramento, not the primate city of its region. They were one of the first outposts of what is now called Silicon Valley, dating back to the 1950s, and their early success was largely due to the overall explosion of growth in California’s population, and support of the technology sector by military spending and space exploration during that era. They are very concentrated in the tech sector–they’re not big enough to have a very diverse economy. Their population growth over the past 20 years has been about 0.5% annually. Sure, they grew fast in the 1950s and 60s–so did Sacramento, largely for the same reasons. But what have they done lately that is so impressive?
One lesson we should have all learned by now seems rather obvious, but at the same time, overlooked. Nothing is permanent. Be it here in Sacramento, or elsewhere. 100-years ago, the railroads were king…then, the Kings were, in some ways. Being a government town and seat seems to have its drawbacks. We cannot afford to rely soley on our history, passion for basketball, or government to breath life into Sacramento. We need something else – something more lasting and universally appealing to occupy not only the railyards, but our society’s interest for the next 50-years or so. So instead of “Think Big”, perhaps we need to think LONG, as in long-term. I don’t know if that means an arena, or a baseball stadium, a mixed-use industrial/retail/residential neighborhood or what. The fact remains, though, that we have a clean slate – and an opportunity to do something pretty special with it if we’re smart.
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