Kings arena debate gets nasty

Ready for more Kings drama?

This week, the pro-arena camp released a couple videos on One features a signature gatherer telling an arena proponent, armed with a hidden camera, that the new Kings home means increased taxes in Sacramento. This is not true, of course. So the pro-arena camp—lead by Region Builders, a group with ties to the mayor's Think Big Sacramento initiative—garnered good media play skewering the anti-arena contingent for fabricating information (see “Arenas and lies” by Cosmo Garvin, SN&R Bites on page 13, for the entire scoop).

Sure, signature gatherers often don't have a clue about the facts. But when it comes to the arena deal, the facts have been sloppy since day one.

I mean, to this day, we don't know the exact price tag for the city's contribution to the proposed new downtown facility. Is it $250 million? Or $350 million? Or?

And, if the arena is built, what guarantees are there that the additional half-billion-dollars in development and revitalization will actually occur? The fact that we're not just getting an arena but also a central-city facelift is a major selling point,

Or, how about this: The city plans to take out bonds against future parking revenue to pay for its arena contribution. This could cost the general fund upward of $25 million a year. City Hall's forecast for how to fill in that multimillion gap? Cloudy at best.

The arena debate frustrates because it's never been about truth. And now it's devolved into lies and spin. And we still have a long way to go until June 2014, when an initiative challenging the arena subsidy likely will be on the ballot.

So, gear up for more Kings drama. Because it's gonna get nasty.