Election Is Over, Arena Debate Continues

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, November 9, 2006

Shortly after the polls closed on Election Night…members of the Yes on Arena campaign were already revealing the formation of a non-profit committee to keep the arena issue alive.  Sacramento County Supervisor Roger Dickinson had been instrumental in the arena effort:
We announced tonight the creation of a non-profit organization called Share the vision which is going to be the vehicle for those of us who are committed to this idea to carry on with education of the public and development of a new effort.
The announcement came after it was apparent the measures were going to suffer a crushing defeat.  Tim Hodson with the Center for California Studies at Sacramento State says nothing went right for the Yes campaign:
With all due respect to the No campaign, I think they could have been asleep in a deep coma and still have beaten these measures.  
But with the creation of the Share the Vision committee, members of the Yes campaign are attempting to get right back in the saddle.  
Matt Mahood is president of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce and a member of the new committee. Mahood says he and fellow members now fully understand that voters didn’t like the idea of a publicly funded arena:
We need to go back to the drawing board and figure out a funding mechanism that the people of Sacramento will support.
Mahood also says it’s now clear citizens need to see a final agreement so they know what they’re voting on.
Meanwhile, we haven’t heard the last of the No on Arena campaign. They’re going to stay together to counter the continuing efforts by the Yes committee.
I don’t understand what it is about the word “no” that the proponents don’t understand.  
Democratic Assemblyman Dave Jones is one of the leaders of the No on Arena campaign. 
Our coalition believes that the Maloofs should do what other private sports team owners have done, and that is invest in their own business.  If it’s such a great investment, if it makes such economic sense, then they should invest in it just like any other business.
Jones says in the months to come, his volunteers will hold town hall meetings to talk with the public about priorities, whether it’s an arena, or things like better schools, more police on the streets or improved flood protection.
Public policy expert Tim Hodson believes with this issue, anything can happen. He’s not convinced that voters will reject any arena deal.
It is erroneous to conclude that the people of Sacramento would not support a downtown arena with the Maloofs and the Kings under the right circumstances.

As for the Kings, team owners Joe and Gavin Maloof issued a statement on Election Night that read in part, quote, “as for the question of what is next, we don’t know.”