Let me state up front: I don't care if the Kings stay in Sacramento or not. I don't think having a pro sports team is what defines a city as being a "great" city, and if the Kings are the only thing between greatness and not, then it's pretty obvious Sacramento is "not".
But I absolutely do not want to pay for a new arena. If a bunch of rich guys want to pay another bunch of rich guys to bounce a ball around a floor, let them pay for it. Public financing of this type seldom pays off, and never pays off for the taxpayer. Here's what I mean: the taxpayer pays a higher tax to fund the arena, local businesses may or may not get a boost from the new arena, local tax coffers may or may not swell--but the taxpayer doesn't get to see any of that money in his pocket! No, government officials will distribute that money to those that they see as more worthy. So no, Darren doesn't want to pay a cent towards a new arena. I'm still seething when, as a resident of Alameda County, my taxes went up to pay for the "Mount Al Davis" addition to the Oakland Coliseum to "lure" the Raiders back to Oakland. Al Davis wasn't missing any meals, but back then I was having a tough time making ends meet. What benefit did I get for paying to have the Raiders in Oakland?
I think I've been pretty clear on where I stand on this topic. That having been said, I don't support this, either:
A group asking the Sacramento Kings to pay for affordable housing and assist small businesses downtown filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging the city’s approval of the environmental impact report for the planned downtown arena.Riots? Really? I'd love to see evidence for that claim. And a new arena will affect climate change? Who knew Sacramentans could affect the whole planet!
The Sacramento Coalition for Shared Prosperity said in a news release that the environmental report did not “disclose, analyze or mitigate impacts to local street traffic, air quality and climate change” created by an arena at Downtown Plaza. The group also said the arena “would disproportionately impact the health and safety of low-income residents"...
Members of the coalition that filed the suit include the Sacramento Housing Alliance and the Environmental Council of Sacramento. Those groups want the Kings and the city to sign a community benefits agreement that would fund $40 million worth of affordable housing and set aside money to help small businesses that might be affected by the construction of the new arena...
A separate lawsuit filed by a citizens group charged that the arena would lead to traffic disruptions and riots in downtown Sacramento.
I can't see how it's the responsibility of the Sacramento Kings to pay for so-called affordable housing. Hey, I have an idea! Let's have the Kings pay for their own arena, and the City of Sacramento can spend its money, if it so desires, on low-income housing. That would seem to make sense. Government shouldn't be involved in what is essentially a private business.
Full disclosure: I don't live in Sacramento proper, but in an incorporated suburb. If the City of Sacramento pays for that arena it will not affect me. If Sacramento County decides to get in on the plan, though, then I'm screwed. I want the Kings to pay for their own playground and leave me out of it.