The City of Sacramento will contribute $258 million for a new downtown entertainment and sports complex that would serve as the home for the Sacramento Kings, should their bid to keep the team be successful. The plan will be voted upon at a city council meeting tomorrow.
The deal, which would construct a new arena on the footprint of an aging downtown mall, is the second arena deal the City has finalized in the last year, with the previous deal falling through after the Kings outgoing owners reneged at the last minute. This deal, which raised the overall cost of the new arena by roughly $50 million, still relies upon leveraging parking revenues to pay for bonds to finance the arena. The cost to the City increased $9 million but reduced the percentage of public funding.
However, City officials say that the new deal, placing the arena further in the heart of the City, would help realize greater potential for Sacramento, including spurring development in the downtown corridor.
The 18,500-seat (minimum) arena would be an improvement over the current home for the Kings, the Sleep Train Arena. It also represents a direct competitor to the Seattle, which is also expected to seat 18,500. Sacramento has promised more public funding than its northern rival. Seattle has pledged $200 million towards construction.
Sacramento will contribute the $258 million through a combination of parking-backed bonds ($212 million), transferring City-owned properties to investors ($38 million), and surcharges on tickets.
The latest arena deal is part of Sacramento’s larger bid to keep its NBA team. The current owners have already reached an agreement with a Seattle-linked group to sell the Kings, but Sacramento has received approval from the NBA to present a counter offer. That counter offer will be presented and voted on during the April 17 and 18NBA Owners Meeting.