Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sacramento mayor: "We need to find another way to make sure we get an arena built"

From NPR's Tell Me More today, beginning at about 6:00, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA point guard answered questions from Michel Martin about a new arena in a city whose citizens said no.

KJ: The Sacramento Kings... they're an economic engine for our city. They provide jobs, quality of life. So it's much more than just a basketball arena.

MM: There's always a lot of debate about whether these sports arenas really yield what they cost, in terms of the tax abatements that people expect... Do you really think you make that sell in a time like this?

KJ: It's my job to convince the community that this is an investment that has a positive economic impact long-term. When you talk about the dollars that flow into our city. When you talk about what the Sacramento Kings have done to elevate our profile of our city of Sacramento.

To your point, a few years ago, our city declined to vote... to publicly finance an arena. We need to find another way to make sure we get an arena built, because we do not want to lose the Kings. But it was very clear that our community does not want to publicly finance an arena at this time.


Maybe the team should pay for it privately?

Nah.

Now the plan is for a mixed-use project. Neil deMause is doubtful.

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