If you want to watch a ball drop this New Year’s Eve in Sacramento, you’d better plan to be near a TV.
The city has rejected a proposal to hold a New Year’s ball drop at K Street, between ninth and eleventh streets, due to safety and traffic concerns, according to a report by Ryan Lillis Monday in The Sacramento Bee.
City Neighborhood Services Director Vincene Jones sent a letter to the planner of the event, Dale Robertson, co-owner of the Parlaré Euro Lounge, outlining the reasons for the move.
The letter said it would be difficult to clear the area before light rail services would have to start up again in the morning, and that city police and the California Highway Patrol would be stretched thin if they had to manage both the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks downtown and the proposed ball drop on K Street, which organizers expected to draw 12,500 guests.
The city last held a ball drop in 2008, and was one of the first cities on the west coast to hold such an event, according to an article published that year in the Bee. The event was discontinued in 2009 due to disagreements between the Paragary Restaurant Group, which hosted the event in 2008; the city and the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, according to a previous article in the Sacramento Press.
Sac Press readers on Facebook had different takes on the issue.
"They’ve made a terrible decision," Facebook user Roscoe Frazier wrote in a post. "That just means my family and me will be traveling even further to go celebrate life."
Ashley Wi said that he had attended the ball drop in 2008, and that crowd control was a serious issue. He suggested an alternate location. "This town does need more events like the drop, so why not have it at the Capitol?," Wi wrote in a Facebook comment. "There is more green space to spread out, and far fewer corners to worry about."
Steve Tuck agreed with Wi that the 2008 event was best not repeated.
"It was absolutely the right decision," he wrote."I heard many stories like Ashley’s which made this event sound like the one place you did not want to be New Year’s. The whole idea was just very hokey and out of place. Stick with the Old Sac fireworks."
What do you think? Did the city overreact, or would both a ball drop and the fireworks display be too much for Sacramento to handle?