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Kings on hook for higher cost of new arena

Kevin Johnson, Vivek Ranadive

Sacramento, Calif., Mayor Kevin Johnson, right, and Vivek Ranadive, left, address reporters during a news conference following the NBA Board of Governors meeting Wednesday, May 15, 2013, in Dallas. NBA owners voted Wednesday to reject the Kings’ proposed move to Seattle, the latest in a long line of cities that have tried to land the franchise. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)


The Kings’ new arena deal is bad for taxpayers.

Thankfully, it won’t be as bad as other stadium deals, I guess.

Dale Kasler of The Sacramento Bee:

Barely a month before opening, the Sacramento Kings continue to pour money into their new downtown arena, bringing the latest estimate of Golden 1 Center’s construction costs to $556.6 million.

The estimate has risen by $21.7 million in just a month, according to a construction consultant’s report submitted to Sacramento city officials late last week. The $556.6 million price represents a more than $79 million increase since the Kings broke ground in October 2014 on what was envisioned as a $477 million project. When the arena was first proposed to city officials in 2013, Kings officials said it would cost $447 million – bringing the total increase in price to around $109 million.

With the city’s subsidy capped at $255 million, all the additional costs are coming out of the pockets of Kings Chairman Vivek Ranadive and the rest of the team’s owners.

Let this serve as a lesson to other cities. If you just have to spend taxpayers’ dollars on an arena that enriches billionaire owners, at least make sure those billionaire owners cover overages. New stadiums commonly cost more than initially projected.