Cal Expo, NBA Move Forward on Arena; Questions Remain

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, February 27, 2009

The Cal Expo board, which oversees the State Fair, voted 7-2 to begin a search for potential developers.

NBA consultant John Moag says the project would be paid for in three ways: 
Moag: “The developer, first and foremost, is the largest source of funds.  The Maloof family – the owner of the Kings – are also a contributing member.  And third, we are going to need assistance on the development side for infrastructure.” 
That is, public funds, from the city of Sacramento.  Under Moag’s proposal, the city would borrow against increased tax revenues from a fully developed Cal Expo.  But Assemblyman Dave Jones, a non-voting Cal Expo board member, questions that idea. 
Jones: “That basically means money that would otherwise go to the city and the county would come here.  So one question I have is, has anybody done an analysis of what impact that’s gonna have on the city and the county budget?  Particularly in a time when we’re cutting police officers and fire fighters and law enforcement generally.” 
It’s also unlikely a developer would be interested until the economy recovers.  In all, the project could take more than two decades to build in full.

The Cal Expo board will meet again on March 10th, and members will decide then whether to take other steps forward.