The woes of the arena and the Maloofs continues... where to put the new arena? Will it even stay in Sacramento? Who will own the arena, the parking etc? The saga continues...
The NBA is currently in talks to make some sort of an arrangement at Cal Expo. If you've been reading, you know I'm not really fond of the way the City of Sacramento has handled the whole arena situation. While the state owns Cal Expo, I am not hugely confident that they will do any better in negotiations. Perhaps if the Maloofs are not in the initial discussions, the NBA and the state will fare better.
There are two major issues I see with an arena at Cal Expo. The most complex problem will be parking revenue. This has been a major issue of contention and the main reason the railyard arena plan failed. The Maloofs do not want to sacrifice the bread and butter of parking. Yet Cal Expo makes a significant portion of their revenue from parking and will likely not part with it. How will they work out the parking so that everyone gets what they want? Now that the state is involved, I can only imagine the bureaucratic pile of red tape.
A less complex but more frustrating problem will be the traffic situation on the Cap City freeway and around the area. It is currently 5:02PM on a Wednesday and the traffic in the area (according to News10 Traffic Maps) is moving at less than 25 mph. What happens with a 7pm game start and rush-hour traffic? This area is already a complete disaster during evening rush hour, Christmas shopping and the State Fair. I'm no urban planner, but it doesn't take a degree to realize that pushing through10,000 to 15,000 cars extra through the area will be a major snafu.
I'm not opposed to an arena at Cal Expo... I'm just wary. The grounds are rundown and the area is not designed well to support sudden traffic flows. I'm skeptical that an arrangement can be reached in which the area receives substantial money for infrastructure, the grounds are rebuilt nicely and the traffic flow can be rerouted sufficiently. Perhaps the NBA is willing to invest the kind of cash necessary to solve these problems? Is David Stern really that committed to keeping the Kings in Sacramento?
All of this... while Harrah's and AEG are putting together the new Las Vegas arena...
I'm not holding my breath or buying season tickets.