Sacramento is betting big on its plan to pay for a new Kings arena through a plan that calls for privatizing the city’s parking garages and meters. The hope is that the deal could provide as much as half of the funding needed to pay for the new downtown arena, but few other major cities have succeeded in privatizing parking. That means Sacramento will have few examples to follow.

One of the examples that could cause a moment’s hesitation was in Chicago, where a private company took over the city’s parking for $1.2 billion. It was widely suggested that cost was too low, and when rates rapidly increased, citizens complained. Complaints also came in when parking meters malfunctioned briefly.

But, if Sacramento does get its way, the parking structures alone should bring in at least $185 million, and if the street meters are included that could approach $225 million.

From the Sacramento Bee:

Sacramento doesn’t have many role models to follow as it tries to auction off its parking garages and meters to help finance a new sports arena.

Just two major U.S. cities – Chicago and Indianapolis – have completed such privatization deals. And the biggest one, in Chicago in 2008, was a public relations nightmare.

Read the full article here.