Viewpoints: Arena consultant contracts and development team approved by city council
Sacramento City Council voted 7-2 in favor of paying consultants to explore funding options for a new entertainment-and-sports complex. They also tabbed David Taylor and the ICON Venue Group to be the arena’s official development team. Below are a few takes on last night’s meeting and perhaps on where the city goes from here.
From last night’s vote, Aaron Bruski of NBC Sports’ ProBasketballTalk guestimates how some on the council may vote when the actual funding proposal is brought to the table.
First things first, none of these folks are going to sign off on something that they don’t agree with, so the Think Big Sacramento coalition still has to provide a viable proposal to them. But this issue didn’t just pop up overnight. These officials, for the most part, have a strong grasp of arena politics after 10-plus years of talking about this topic to no avail.
Looking at my ridiculously unscientific analysis I’d say that four of the five are either a yes or leaning that way. They only need three of the five to vote yes after counting K.J.’s and Rob Fong’s vote.
You say you’re upset over talk of Sacramento spending up to $550,000 on consultants to study an arena plan? You think it’s money Sacramento should spend on cops? OK. Putting aside that were talking about using parking funds and money for capital improvements, let’s say you spend it on cops. How do you keep those cops once the money is spent? You don’t. You lay them off again unless you’ve found a way to increase city tax revenue. You don’t keep cops around with one-time money that is gone once it’s spent. The same goes for homeless programs, city parks and pools. With the arena, you have the interest of AEG, one of the biggest arena and stadium operators in the world. If they invest $100 million in the railyard, it could be the catalyst to attract more businesses and a more varied and sustainable local tax base. Do you have a better idea to attract investment? I don’t hear any ideas from the we-can’t-afford-it crowd.
The city may be paying $550,00 over the next six months to these arena consultants. But to be fair, it has saved $230,000 in arena research.