News for 5/27/11
Sacramento has the feasibility study for its new arena at the its website, along with additional renderings. Besides the lack of financing plan that would have to be determined by the end of the “100 Day Plan,” I noticed one other thing. As part of the effort to cut costs, there is no separate club level. Instead, the club seats are largely confined to one side of the arena and courtside sidelines, with the club lounge taking up part of the main concourse.
While the Maloofs continue to maintain that the Kings are not for sale, as many as three groups have surfaced that could buy the franchise if it were available. Ron Burkle continues to be the popular choice, with the “mystery Nevada businessman” being second. Now a group fronted by former King Chris Webber has surfaced, and its chief moneyman is a Filipino businessman named Manny V. Pangilinan, or as he’s known in Manila, “MVP.” With frequent talk of Chinese interests getting a controlling piece of a NBA franchise, it would be somewhat poetic to have a Filipino be the first Asian to do so. FWIW, there are three national sports in The Philippines: basketball, boxing, and cockfighting. It’s not going to make me anymore a Kings fan than Erik Spoelstra (who is half-Filipino) being the head coach of the Miami Heat makes me a Heat fan, but it’s something to be proud of.
Another week, another arena proposal. This time it’s in Baltimore, a city whose 50-year old arena hasn’t fielded a major franchise in nearly 40 years. 92-year-old construction magnate Willard Hackerman is willing to pay for the arena as part of an elaborate redevelopment plan along the Inner Harbor. Like Sprint Center in Kansas City, the arena would be built on spec, without a major pro tenant. Baltimore has been without an indoor sports franchise for so long that it’s hard to know if one would be successful there. It appears that Hackerman is willing to give it shot. Hackerman’s company, Whiting-Turner, built M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens.
ESPN’s Jim Caple came out with his “official” MLB owner’s rankings. Lew Wolff placed 17th, higher than I would’ve expected. Must be the national media bias.
Here on the blog, 980 Park concept originator Bryan Grunwald received word from the City of Oakland that his concept will in fact be part of the Victory Court EIR, hopefully as a full alternative. Unfortunately, Grunwald also was informed that there is no schedule for the release of the EIR. With MLB moving glacially and putting the A’s on the backburner, I suppose it affords the City time to be thorough. Weren’t they supposed to have the whole thing done (and certified) in around a year?
On the redevelopment tip, there are now three bills working more-or-less in conjunction to provide a less wasteful alternative to the current scheme, which is enshrined in the California Constitution. A fourth bill works against redevelopment, as wished by Governor Jerry Brown. Here’s the list:
- SB 286 would restrict how projects are funded. Currently redevelopment dollars are a free-for-all as long as they can be applied to a “blighted” area. If this bill passes money for stadiums and arenas would require a public vote in the affected municipalities.
- SB 450 seeks to rein in waste by capping administrative costs, while pushing the requirement that 20% of funds be spent on affordable housing, to the forefront.
- SB 214 would allow the creation of new infrastructure districts whose purpose would be to finance infrastructure projects (roads, highways, sewers, etc.).
- AB 101 is the aforementioned anti-redevelopment bill. Should any municipality’s RDA have any surpluses after obligations are met, those surpluses would vest with the municipality instead of being sandboxed for redevelopment purposes.
The University of Michigan wants to expand The Big House to 120,000 seats. Might want to fix the football program first.
If you wear a “Yankees Suck” T-shirt at the O.co Liseum next week, will you get thrown out as this lawyer did at the Trop last week?
Added 2:15 PM – The Minnesota legislative session ended with no action on stadiums for the Minnesota Vikings and St. Paul Saints. A deal would have to be done in a special session.