Sacramento unveils design for Kings’ $448M stadium

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Sacramento, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson has unveiled the drawing of the new $448-million Sacramento Kings arena that he expects to generate “an estimated $1 billion in private investment” in the downtown area.

“It’s big, it’s bold, it’s audacious … an iconic space,” Johnson said as he presented the arena drawings on a giant screen.

Johnson made the move amid a lawsuit filed by Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork (STOP) challenging the city’s $258 million subsidy for the project.

City Clerk Shirley Concolino recently rejected STOP’s request to have their ballot petitions certified over the proposed sports arena subsidy.

Johnson, a former Kings superstar, said courts would dismiss any legal challenge of the clerk’s decision. “Our city attorney feels very good about our case,” Johnson said. “In all probability we would prevail in court.”

Aside from the $448 million arena, Kings executives said they will build another 1.5 million square feet of mixed-use development adjacent to the arena. The arena would occupy a portion of Downtown Plaza, which the team purchased last week.

Tim Romani of ICON Venue Group, the group that manages the arena development, urged the community to come together behind the effort.

“We need to listen to them, we need to hear them … but in the end, this arena will get built,” Romani said, referring to STOP.

Romani believes that Sacramento’s city-owned arena can spark a downtown revival comparable to other ICON-managed arena projects in Los Angeles, Denver and Kansas City.

He said that vast portions of downtown Denver were a wasteland before the city built new facilities for basketball, hockey, football and baseball starting in the mid-1990s.

Earlier, the Kings told season ticket holders Tuesday that prices will go up next season. Several season ticket holders said they were informed their tickets will rise 9 percent.

Team President Chris Granger said in an interview that some tickets won’t go up at all, and others will go up anywhere between $1 and $50 a game.

“The prices will still be lower than they were in 2008,” said Granger. “It’s just time to recalibrate our pricing.” He said the team closely monitors the secondary resale market for Kings tickets, which has been very strong.”

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