The New Arena Plan Looks Like It’s Totally Going To Happen/Not Happen

Nice article in the Sacramento Bee about the latest development in the Kings trying to get this complicated land-swap deal done to hopefully get a brand new downtown arena like nearly EVERY OTHER BASKETBALL CITY IN THE NBA.

“At the end of the day, are we getting a state-of-the-art 21st-century exposition hall, or are we trying to put a square peg in a round hole?” Cal Expo’s Brian May asked.

While they ponder, the city takes a key step this week toward building a new sports and entertainment center in the downtown railyard.

On Tuesday, the Sacramento City Council is expected to OK an exclusive negotiating arrangement with the land-swap proposer, local developer Gerry Kamilos. Kamilos’ efforts are backed by the Kings and the National Basketball Association.

Basically, what this is coming down to is whether or not Arco Arena is state-of-the-art enough to hold the State Fair. Personally, I’ve been to the State Fair at Cal Expo, as have many of you, and I can definitely tell you that I’ve never felt like I was in some amazing place-setting for the wonder that is trying to decide between the Krispy Kreme BBQ Chicken Sandwich or my fourth deep-fried Snickers bar.

The State Fair is often way too hot for me to consider wanting to go so the idea that it would be in a climate controlled building (i.e. – air conditioning) sounds fantastic. I can actually see myself going to Arco Arena for the State Fair while I really don’t see myself ever wanting to drive to Cal Expo again just to see the latest concert from Boyz II Men or The Village People.

But that’s where this whole land-swap gets kind of complicated. How do you convince the Cal Expo people who want to make the State Fair as good and inviting as possible that they should want to move to Arco Arena when all they’ve heard is how cramped, dingy and out of date the facility is for NBA games. I’ve been to plenty of arenas in the NBA to know that the Kings are lucky to be getting by on Arco Arena now. They NEED a new arena and preferably one downtown so that this can turn into an even greater NBA city.

The fan base has always been strong and with the way the team is rebuilding it would be a shame to get Clay Bennett’d and have a rising team with a budding star get shipped away to Kansas City or Anaheim just because people in Sacramento couldn’t cooperate in building a structure suitable for a King (see what I did there?). At the same time, the economy is horrible right now and the state isn’t exactly in the financial state to start taking on billion-dollar construction projects.

It will be interesting to see how the politics and business side of these proceedings develop over the next couple of months.


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