Contract the Kings? Stern says not so fast Bill Simmons.

If you missed Bill Simmons podcast with NBA Commissioner David Stern on Friday, you need to sit down for an hour with an iced tea and a pair of noise cancelling head phones.  There is a lot of information to go over here but since this is a Sacramento Kings blog, let us focus on the critical items pertaining to this team. Let me just put the word out there- contraction.  It's an ugly word and even uglier when you understand the economics of the NBA and how they apply to the Sacramento Kings. While Bill Simmons peppered Commissioner Stern with a myriad of questions, contraction and the Kings was a major topic of discussion.  Stern was as candid as he could be and certainly open to the subject, which should scare the tar out of Kings fans. More after the jump... ... More

Scheduled Think Big Sacramento arena town halls for this week

As announced at the city council meeting last Thursday, there are a few arena-related engagements happening this week. If you are able to attend and participate, here are the details. August 8 (Today) WHAT:  Town Hall Meeting WHEN: 6 PM WHERE:  Amtrak Station - 401 I Street, Sacram... More

Cowbell Kingdom Podcast Ep 14 – Paul Maslin of FM3 Research on Sacramento region’s attitude toward new arena

Findings from a recent survey suggest broad-based support for a new entertainment-and-sports complex in Sacramento.  Paul Maslin of Fairbank, Maslin, Maulin, Metz & Associates, the company that conducted the survey, joined us to discuss the results. Highlights
  • FM3 has conducted 20 or more surveys through the years in a variety of locations on public opinion regarding sports venues.  Recently, they've done work in Los Angeles amidst the city's effort to build a new football stadium.
  • More than ever, political agendas are met with public skepticism.  So is it surprising to find such support for a project with political backing?  "In that context, to have this kind of support for this arena is striking.  I said last night striking is the word I used and I'll repeat it.  It is significant, it is striking, it the midst of what has been a tougher climate in general..."
  • On Think Big Sacramento's execution so far: "I give them credit because they have created the notion of a balanced approach, which people want.  They have clearly gotten people interested and aware of the entire issue, 90 percent.  The fundamentals of the site they've picked and what it means economically clearly have tremendous support.  And they're exploring, with the understanding the Maloofs and other private developers and private interests are going to be part of this deal and part of where the funding is coming from, some interesting ways to solve the public piece.  People get it that this can't be all public and can't be all private."
Tune-in after the jump. ... More

Audio: An arena project update from Mayor Kevin Johnson’s chief of staff

The arena project was the 13th item discussed during last night's Sacramento city council meeting.  Mayor Kevin Johnson's Chief of Staff Kunal Merchant spent about five minutes recapping its progress, noting that the Think Big Sacramento Committee is approximately three quarters into the 100-day ... More

Cowbell Kingdom Podcast Ep 13 – Rob McAllister of NewsTalk 1530 KFBK

After a one-week reprieve, we're back! Think Big Sacramento announced some new developments this week on the on-going arena project.  KFBK's Rob McAllister joins us on the Cowbell Kingdom podcast to share his thoughts on the entertainment-and-sports complex committee's latest findings. Follow Rob on Twitter. Highlights
  • Ideas for publicly financing the arena are beginning to take shape.  But what about private funding?  According to McAllister, involving private entities like an AEG and also the Kings will mainly serve the purpose of showing creditors the project is worthy of a loan.  "There isn't going to be, let's say, a multi-millionaire (or) billionaire that's willing to throw $50 to 100 million on an arena.  That's really not feasible and that really does not make any sense for anyone to do that."
  • Fall-out from the lockout? "I don't think it's going to help in the matter of public opinion if the team is locked out in November and you're trying to push for an arena.  People are going to be upset if they can't watch the Kings.  On the other end, I think it also slows up the Anaheim deal where they can't just move in the middle of a lockout."  He adds that the lockout doesn't really help or hurt the process.
  • Yesterday's Public Synergies Report revealed some unorthodox means of funding, including selling parcels of city-owned land to raise anywhere from $30 to 60 million dollars for the project.  McAllister believes the land the city could bargain would be from Natomas.
Tune-in after the jump.
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New arena report finds most patrons aren’t from Sacramento

Another study by the Think Big Sacramento Committee, titled the Capital Corridor Impact Report, was released today.  And it pretty much sums up the obvious. Most people attending events and Kings games at Power Balance Pavilion aren't from the city of Sacramento. The following from ... More

Mayor’s office announces “Citizen Architect Initiative”

At a 10am press conference this morning, the Think Big Sacramento council announced a new and exciting way for the impassioned citizens of the greater Sacramento area to get involved in the building of the new Entertainment and Sports Complex (ESC).  In the past, the focus has been on blue ribbon groups of political and business leaders.  This new campaign is looked at as an extension of the grass roots efforts of groups like Here We Stay and Here We Build, turning to regular citizens for help in educating the masses.
 “The new complex will offer hundreds of amenities and opportunities for people from all walks of life,” said Mayor Kevin Johnson. “But, it will only happen if we engage the interest, imagination and participation of citizens from every corner of our region.”
Read more after the jump. ... More

Amidst lockout, arena commission charges forward with economic benefits report


Taylor/ICON artist rendering of new Sacramento SEC.

At a press conference today from the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Downtown Sacramento, the regional arena commission, recently renamed Think Big Sacramento, released a study identifying the economic benefits of a new entertainment and sports complex.  According to the report, the key findings are:
  • $157 million in revenue for the entire region on an annual basis, including $100 million in Downtown Sacramento, $116 million to the City of Sacramento, $131 million to the County of Sacramento and $157 million to the greater Sacramento region.
  • Over a thirty year period, the Sacramento region will receive over $7 billion in economic activity.
  • 3.1 million new visitors to Downtown Sacramento annually.
  • An increase of over 300,000 guests to hotels within walking distance of a new downtown arena, should they spend at least one evening overnight in Sacramento.
  • Fiscal benefits for government agencies created by the three-million new visitors include $6.7 million annually generated by $5.8 million in sales taxes over $900,000 in transient occupancy taxes.  Additional revenue would be expected to be generated by increases in other sources of government.
Among those present today was Think Big Sacramento's Executive Director Chris Lehane.  He said the commission hopes to announce a public-private financing model by the beginning of September.  And with the NBA lockout set to take effect at midnight, Lehane was asked if a work stoppage is a concern regarding the project's momentum. "Obviously (we'll have to) deal with a potential lockout situation," Lehane said. "Obviously we're aware of it and cognizant of it.  But at the end of the day, we've made it pretty clear that this is not solely about building a facility for a professional basketball team.  This is about what makes sense for the broader region and specifically what other types of civic benefits can be derived from this." Also notably in attendance was State Assembly Member Roger Dickinson, Sacramento Councilman Rob Fong and the report's author Cathleen M. Dominico.  She is managing partner of Capitol Public Finance Group -  "a full service, independent public finance consulting firm head-quartered in Sacramento." After the jump, audio of Lehane and Dominico addressing media questions and a link to download the report. ... More

First arena coalition meeting focuses on public-private partnership

  The first public meeting between members of the Here We Build coalition took place yesterday afternoon.  According to our friend and appointed committee member Blake Ellington, the meeting included a 30-minute presentation by Dan Barrett, founder and principal owner of Barrett Sports ... More

Here We Build full regional roster released

The names of the 60 members making up the regional arena commission were released yesterday.  15 of those members have been designated to the executive committee of the aptly titled Here We Build commission.  Here are a few of them: Notable Executive Committee Members Assemblyman Roger ... More