Sacramento businesses willing to pony up significant funds for new arena?

In a 7-2 vote, the Sacramento City Council last night motioned on a plan to determine the value of the city’s parking structures and spaces.  If Sacramento finds an operator to lease and run its parking, the city potentially can net approximately $200-million upfront – a significant chunk of change that would help finance a new entertainment-and-sports complex.

Now local businesses, in particular hotels, are stepping up to the plate to aid funding for the estimated $406-million project, says KFBK’s Rob McAllister:

Listening back to the audio from the meeting, Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau President, Steve Hammond, sparked my interest when he said to council, “We’re so dedicated to ensuring that the project moves forward, we have been in on-going conversations with the city about an annual significant financial commitment so we can participate in the long term funding solution.”

A source familiar with the discussions expanded on those comments. “There is the thought of creating a Business Improvement District around the proposed arena site.”

He adds:

While it may have been discusssed, in an interview Wednesday, Hammond said that a hotel tax would not be apart of the deal.  However, it seems members of the current Business Improvement District (which includes hotels in the city and unincorporated part of Sacramento County) are willing to put up money to help fund the arena.

“(The B.I.D) is what we would look to, to help with the funding of the sports and entertainment complex,” Hammond said.

Hammond would not yet reveal what the SCVB would contribute, but said “the amount that we are talking about has the city’s attention.”

He added, “We will be benefactors of a new sports and entertainment complex built downtown, so we believe that we need to help in the funding of (the arena).”

With a new entertainment and sports center, the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates as many as 3-million new visitors would come downtown each year for concerts, Kings’ games and other major events.

Hammond reiterated at the end of the conversation once again that “there will not be any new tax or any new assessment to the public.”

McAllister has more interesting tidbits over at his blog, including AEG’s involvement and some details on the bidding war now beginning on the city’s parking assets.


Jonathan Santiago
Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.

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