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Sacramento officials push arena idea — but no funding plan

Sacramento KingsSacramento officials are pushing the many benefits of a new arena to regional residents — but without a funding plan, an incomplete story is being sold.

It’s not necessarily hard to tell regional residents they’ll benefit from a new downtown Sacramento arena: it will allow the Sacramento Kings (NBA) to stay in town, better events could be booked and the city’s profile would be raised. And, of course, there will be economic benefits to the region, thoough they’d mostly be concentrated in Sacramento. So that part of the pitch, which is ongoing right now, is easy.

But the hard part of the sale still needs to emerge: how the arena is funded. In general, the broader the base, the easier it is to accumulate the big bucks needed for a major arena. Sacramento certainly cannot afford a new arena on its own, so there’s certainly the need to broaden the revenue base to the counties in the greater Sacramento area. This may be impossible to do: several counties have already flatly rejected the idea of new taxes in their municipalities to pay for a new arena, and there’s not a whole lot of enthusiasm for any arena plan in the remaining counties. We’ve chatted with some arena insiders about the chances of a regional funding plan for a new arena, and they’ve put the chances of one happening as between slim and none.Give Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson credit for hard work on creating enthusiasm for a new arena, but his task is immensely difficult: in an anti-tax and anti-spending environment, he’s tasked with persuading folks to pony up for a new arena that will ultimately be perceived as benefiting an NBA team.

RELATED STORIES: Kings to share financials for arena research; Kings to stay in Sacramento for ’11-’12; Will Kings move? No one seems to know; Report: Kings likely to stay in Sacramento for ’11-’12; Kings relo app deadline pushed back to May 2; Anaheim to discuss aid for Kings; Maloofs shoot down Arco refurb; Kings: From boom to bust; With Kings eying Anaheim, Johnson vows to continue arena quest; Maloofs sell naming rights to arena; admit to looking at moving NBA’s Kings; Johnson: We’ll take another run at new Kings arena; NBA: We’re done with Sacramento arena effortsConsultant: It makes no sense to move Cal Expo as part of arena project; Maloof: We’re not looking at move to Seattle; Size of Arco Arena site threatens Kings arena deal


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