NBA Will No Longer Help Kings Get a New Arena

by September 29, 2010
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The L has basically told Sacramento’s ballclub that they’re on their own when it comes to building a new home. It’s yet another ominous sign for team’s future (or lack thereof) in the city. From the Bee: “Four years after the National Basketball Association commissioner announced he’d personally help get an arena built in Sacramento, the league issued a terse e-mail Tuesday saying it’s no longer taking an active role in local arena efforts. The statement came days after the Cal Expo board closed the door on an NBA-backed plan to move the State Fair to the Arco Arena site in Natomas to help finance a new downtown arena. ‘On the heels of the disappointing – but not surprising – action (or inaction) of the state and Cal Expo board, it is fair to say that the NBA has ceased its activities on the Sacramento arena front,’ league representative John Moag said in an e-mail to The Bee. ‘However, we will continue to monitor and respond to the activities and options of others that might reasonably ensure the competitiveness and viability of the Kings’ franchise.’ The now-defunct arena proposal, championed by local developers Gerry Kamilos and David Taylor, would have leveraged revenues from the sale of the Cal Expo site to help finance a new State Fair in Natomas and a sports and entertainment complex in the downtown railyard. The plan, called Sacramento Convergence, was chosen in April by the Sacramento City Council from among from seven responses to Mayor Kevin Johnson’s appeal for ‘out of the box’ ways to build a sports and entertainment complex. The complicated plan evolved in recent weeks into a proposal to privately finance and manage the State Fair as part of a year-round entertainment center in Natomas to be run by VisionMaker Worldwide, a resort and entertainment venue company headed by former Disney and Universal Studio executives. Cal Expo officials rejected a request to study the idea further, saying it was too speculative, and that the Arco site was not suitable for a State Fair. Johnson said he called NBA Commissioner David Stern on Sunday to talk, and that Stern was ‘not enthused’ by Cal Expo’s decision.”