The next crucial step to keeping the Sacramento Kings will be securing the funding they need for a new arena. To keep the costs low on the city, a plan must be put in place that ensures that not too much of a burden is placed on the taxpayers of the city.
The crucial issue seems to be getting enough money from the parking bids, and it appears local leadership has done enough. Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee has more.
By a unanimous vote, the Sacramento City Council voted Tuesday night to allow staff to enter into detailed talks with 11 firms seeking to lease downtown parking. An agreement with one of those companies is being counted on to provide up to half of the $387 million bill for a new downtown sports arena.
In approving deeper talks with those parking firms, the City Council showed it supports moving forward on an attempt led by Mayor Kevin Johnson to create a financing plan for an arena by March 1 and avoid losing the Sacramento Kings.
It's a shift from just one week ago, when four council members voted to place the parking plan on the June ballot – a move that likely would have stalled the arena project beyond March 1.
It's an encouraging sign that such a quick turnaround has been made. This can only mean that support for keeping the team in Sacramento is growing.
Although things look good, the process is not yet complete. Tom Ziller points out that the parking revenue will have to be sufficient enough for the city council to vote in favor of the plan. The vote on February 28th will determine whether the team sticks around the California state capital. If it succeeds, the Kings should be able to begin construction on their new arena; if it fails, the Maloofs will have the freedom to look around for a suitable site, probably Anaheim.
To talk about the Kings, head on over to Sactown Royalty.