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Developers shy away from Sacramento arena plans

One big problem has emerged in Sacramento's quest for a new arena at the Cal Expo site: no developer wants anything to do with it.

The quest for a new Sacramento Kings (NBA) arena at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds site has hit a serious snag: no developer wants anything to do with the project.

The proposal calls for a developer to work with the Cal Expo on a redevelopment of the fairgrounds. Armed with profits from new housing, retail and office space, the developer would then build a new arena for the Kings, replacing Arco Arena. The developer would take on all the risk.

Of course, no developer likes a large-scale project where they take on all the risk — especially in today's economy. The NBA, which is acting as an equal partner with Cal Expo, won't take on any risk, either, and neither will the Kings ownership.

So, with all these folks adverse to risk, you can imagine what will eventually happen: nothing. That's why Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson — yes, that Kevin Johnson — is rather worried about losing the Kings.

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