Kings downtown arena: Third Court of Appeals paves way for Kings to breakground at the downtown mall

by Ken Gimblin

SACRAMENTO–With the last piece of the property puzzle solved by the Third Court of Appeals in Sacramento favoring the ruling that the Macy’s building at the eastern end of the downtown plaza will be sold for $4.35 million via eminent domain, building and property owners U.S. Bank certified owners and CalPERS will be forced to sell which paves the way for the Sacramento Kings to start making plans to build their brand new arena.

The Sacramento City Council will hold a vote detailing the blueprints and plans for the new building and the vote will be held on May 13. Sacramento Assistant City Manager John Dengberg was besides himself by the court decision and was relieved that if the appeals ruling had gone the wrong way it could have held the arena build hostage until the appeals process was solved which could have lasted months.

The higher court upheld the Sacramento Superior Court decision on eminent domain that ruled the certified owners and CalPERS to sell the building and construction for the new arena should start at the beginning of June with the demolition of the Macy’s building. For City officials it’s ka sara sara to some of the toughest parts of the court battles in making a dream come true for the Kings and the City, “it’s a huge deal, we’re very pleased” said Dengberg.

The new arena will be at the eastern part of the mall, the Macy’s building will be torn down and it will be turned into a Kings workout, training and player development center. The 17,000 seat arena will run the team $448 million in private and public funding. The City says that the money will come from the general fund for it’s share to the price tag of $258 million.

The City said they will recoup the money to pay back the fund by city owned parking lot fees and taxes on ticket sales made at all Kings games and all events at the new arena, “a lot has been accomplished in the last year we’re negotiating the final wrap ups” said Dengberg.

The issues that the city council will vote on on May 13th will include asking the Planning and Design Commission to review the layout and blueprints for the new arena and the mall, zoning changes that will allow the Kings to construct digital scoreboards at several of the major freeway exits in the city, the council will also vote on the overall terms of the deal for the financial funding portion on the city’s part hence the $258 million, the project will include the new arena, offices, retail, housing and hotels in the neigboring area just a block or more from the arena.

Ken Gimblin is covering the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors arena developments for Sportstalk radio

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