by Ken Gimblin
SACRAMENTO–Non Union contractors who protested that union only contractors get to develop the Sacramento Kings new basketball arena downtown when the contractors were originally announced will have a shot during a possilbe new bid process. ICON Venue Group was given the contract to manage the project, Turner Construction group was selected to do the pre construction work, and AECOM was chosen to do the architect work design on the arena, during the bid process AECOM and Turner were selected by the city.
According to Sacramento officials the bid process would be suspended loosening up the competetive bid procedures and it will now allow small businesses to get involved in the arena build. The Kings will be in charge of decdiding who wins in the bid process. Non-union contractors had taken up sides with anti downtown arena groups in their attempt to put a subsidy proposal on the Sacramento June 2014 ballot that would allow voters to answer the question if public subsidies should be allowed to build new entertainment or sports facilities in Sacramento.
The non union groups joined the campaign after it was learned that only union groups would be used as contract developers for the new arena. The non union groups said that the bid process was not fair and equal and that non union contractors should have an opportunity to work on the new arena as well. After it was learned they would not be included in the construction process a non union group leader took the microphone at a Kings ceromony at Westfield Mall and told the group and Kings organizers standing there that the non-union group would protest the new arena.
The Sacramento city council will be asked to vote on the bid proposal rules to allow the smaller groups and non union groups to have a shot at working on the arena. If the non-union groups are allowed to work on the new arena they will most likely drop out of the anti arena campaign to put the subsisdy question on the ballot.
However it was reported the damage might have been done and that the subsidy question could be placed on the June ballot as it’s been disclosed that STOP Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork and Voters for a Fair Arena Deal two groups who are trying to gather signatures on the petition to get the measure in the ballot are closing in on the 22,000 signatures required by mid December.
The NBA has stated that they expect the arena to be up and running by October 2016 in time for the pre season if not the NBA has the option to move the club.
Ken Gimblin is covering the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors arena builds for Sportstalk Radio