Comparing the Downtown Plaza arena deal to last year’s Railyards plan

In his comments to media yesterday evening, city manager John Shirey noted that he likes this year’s deal much better than the 2012 proposal.  The city staff report released with the term sheet includes a comparison between the plans at the Downtown Plaza and the Railyards.

Given the different nature (e.g., privately-owned land versus City-owned land, etc.) of the projects, not all the terms are directly comparable, but the major components are listed below. Both proposals include a similarly-sized ESC that would be LEED-certified and would be comparable to other state-of-the-art arenas in other cities.

Chart: Downtown Plaza vs. RailyardsBelow are some minor, but interesting features of this year’s term sheet:

  • A new practice facility would be built and located within the downtown entertainment and sports complex.
  • The Amway Center in Orlando, Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City and Pepsi Center in Denver are noted as specific models to follow for the potential new arena in Sacramento.
  • The term sheets targets September 2016 as the date to open the new ESC.
  • As part of the agreement to repay some of the debt in the 1997 loan, all events at Sleep Train Arena would become subject to a ticket surcharge effective June 1st.
  • Though the city will own the arena, the investor group will have exclusive rights to sell arena signage and naming rights. As far as naming rights are concerned, any proposed sponsor “shall be tasteful and not to be a cause for embarrassment to the City.”
  • For those wondering how a new arena would benefit public safety operations like police and fire, the investor group would pay the costs for such municipal services at ESC and Kings events.
  • “Sacramento” must continue to be the first part of the team’s name. “The Kings may not include any other geographic, city, county, or state reference in the Team name.” This means no California Kings of Sacramento or Golden State Kings if the Warriors decided to drop the state nickname in favor of San Francisco in a few years.
  • Within three years of opening the proposed arena, the Kings will be required to request that the NBA bring an All-Star Game to Sacramento.
  • With the exception of food and beverage, the city will have its own suite in the new arena at no cost. The city would also have the option of receiving 10 complimentary tickets per Kings event.

You can read the staff report and term sheet in their entirety here and here.  City council is expected to vote on the plan at Tuesday night’s meeting at city hall.


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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