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Sacramento still looking for way to pay for new arena

sacramento arena

While the lockout has stopped Sacramento Kings Jimmermania marketing efforts — they can’t even talk about the guy, let alone show him off all over town — it has not stopped the drive to get a new arena built.

It can’t, the deadline has not changed. If by next March the NBA owners are not impressed with progress toward a new arena in Sacramento — including how to pay for it — they will give the Maloof brothers permission to move the Kings to Anaheim or whatever other city they so choose.

How to pay for it will be the sticking point, and a financing plan is supposed to be presented by Sept. 8. Mayor Kevin Johnson and his task force are trying to figure that part out, and the Sacramento Bee updates us on the effort.

Aides to Mayor Kevin Johnson say they’re focused on user fees such as ticket surcharges for people who attend arena events. That revenue could be coupled with event-night parking fees at downtown garages, new corporate sponsorships, and up-front money from private companies that could build and operate the arena for the city.

Another idea: The city could sell up to a dozen parcels that it owns to developers, raising $30 million to $60 million, according to a financing update that will be discussed today at a meeting of Johnson’s 70-person regional arena committee. The report does not indicate which parcels those are.

The ultimate price tag for the building is expected to be $387 million (which frankly is pretty inexpensive, the Barclay Center in Brooklyn will cost $1 billion).

Corporate sponsorships, leasing out space to put cell towers and just about every other option is being considered as well.

Sacramento needs to come up with creative financing because the voters are not going to approve a self-tax. They shot that idea down five years ago, back when the economy was strong. It’s not about to happen now.