Mayor KJ readies arena-financing plan

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is about to present his “Big Reveal” on arena financing for the Sacramento Kings this week.

Interestingly, to the south the San Francisco 49ers ambitious plans for a new stadium in Santa Clara have run into similar problems over financing and parking, though to hear the 49er front office talk about it, particularly Jed York, the stadium is already built. According to the San Francisco Chronicle the 49ers have raised only $250 million of the roughly $1 billion needed for the proposed stadium in venture-capital-happy Silicon Valley. Additionally, a study also found that the team underestimates how many people will drive to games, and oversells access to mass transit and available parking.

So far, the Kings have been less cocky, and let’s hope that carries over to practical plans for the arena and realistic plans for parking. At the community forum at the Amtrak Station last month, the front office seemed to have inhaled some of the pot smoke from the Cesar Chavez Plaza team pep rally last spring. The team said surrounding streets/light rail/K Street Mall/bikes can handle any parking needs, which makes sense if the bulk of their future fans consist of those shirtless guys riding around downtown sidewalks on bikes.

Meanwhile, the Sacramento area and the Kings have been taking some body shots worthy of Bill Lambeer this summer. ESPN ranked the Sacramento Kings as 119 out of 122 pro sports franchises in the United States and Canada. ESPN looked at such things as ownership (121 out of 122), titles (119), affordability (94) and stadium experience (118). The American Business Journal also rated the Sacramento Kings as the hardest team to root for. More recently, the Sports Business Journal rated West Sacramento a middling 107 among 241 American cities with minor league teams, below Stockton (75) and the top market, Harrisburg-Hershey, Pennsylvania. The Sports Business Journal looked at such things as the local economy and attendance. Perhaps they should factor in shirtless guys on bikes.

—Purple Drank