“Here in Hamilton County, we are suffering from the worst stadium deal ever,” says Capell. “They promised us a sales tax that would cost $500 million for two stadiums with a tax that would last 20 years. In reality, we got one stadium for $500 million and an extra 15 years of the tax, so it is just another case of understanding the expenses and overstating the benefits. The team owners know that once they get a ‘Yes’ vote, there is no going back.”
Much like the Miami Marlins, they quickly traded their star players after the stadium opened, leaving another big city duped and used. “You saw this whole scenario coming from a mile away,” says Elizabeth Dennis, a resident of Sacramento for nearly 50 years. She has closely watched the team occupy three arenas in their 32 years in the city. “They played the public for fools and the people bought it. Sacramento existed well before the Kings came, but most people now don’t remember that. So they are afraid of what would happen if they moved. I can tell you now, life would go on and Sacramento would continue to exist.” One of the major selling points to the public was that the new Golden 1 Arena would land the city large national conventions, like the Democratic National Convention. Unfortunately, city developers and planners weren’t able to get the required hotel rooms to meet the hotel room/per capita ratio desired by most national and large regional conventions. This has become another black eye in the stadium fight. “All they needed was one ‘Yes’ vote and they finally got it,” says deMause. “That is the first publicly-funded stadium in California in at least two decades. The rest of the story really speaks for itself at this point.”
The team owners know that once they get a 'Yes' vote, there is no going back.
A SACRAMENTO STORY
Capell is a loud opponent of Cincinnati’s public stadium financing... Forty-five years ago, the lack of a new venue led the National Basketball Association’s Cincinnati Royals to move to Kansas City. They were renamed the Kings in 1972. The Kings then relocated to Sacramento in 1985. And for the past decade, the Kings have threatened to move to Seattle to replace the SuperSonics (who moved to Oklahoma City in 2008 after the city denied a publicly- funded stadium). The team’s threats finally paid off as voters, led by former NBA star and mayor Kevin Johnson, agreed to support a new stadium in downtown Sacramento that opened in 2016.
70 | October 2017
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