I have stayed away from this topic since there was nothing ever finalized. Finally after 6 years the debate has come to the forefront.
Bottom line for me: We need this arena.
I hear so many arguments against this and many times they are very shortsighted and only make this out to be about the Kings and the Maloofs. Those people are wrong.
We hear a lot about how it will energize downtown, yeah that may be the case for the Railyards, but downtown is already on it's way. This is truly about quality of life here in Sacramento and how to make it even better.
*People argue that entertainment dollars simply shift from one location to another locally.
While that may be the case in other cities, that is not the case here in Sacramento. Other cities, such as SF, have multiple facilities that can hold large events. If they lose one, the event will most likely go to another venue.
Think about it, here in Sacramento, we have Arco Arena and that is it for major concerts. Sorry, but I don't see Bocelli or U2 performing at the Memorial. Anyone in Sacramento that wants to see those performances will now have to travel to the Bay Area for shows...thus taking all their entertainment dollars with them. Of those 17,317 people that go to events at Arco, how many of them do you think go out to dinner or drinks before hand? 1/4? 1/3? Whatever the amount is, that money that people spend at events will be leaving Sacramento.
Say what you want, but if the Maloofs leave, Arco is gone and we are stuck without a major venue for shows. We can look forward to spend $3-$4 a gallon and two hours each way to drive to the Bay Area. I think we can tell which way those dollars are heading
*I can't afford to go to Kings game.
It makes me laugh when I hear people talk about how they can't go to Kings game because it's too expensive. Yes, there are really some people who can't afford to go to a Kings game, but a majority of those people who say that are wrong.
You can go to a game and pay a whopping $10 per ticket, add a couple bucks for ticketmaster charge and that's $12 a ticket.
Oh but the parking and the food!!!
Don't want to pay the high prices for bad food..guess what? Try eating at home before the game. Don't want to pay $8 for a beer? Kill a 6 pack in the parking lot before the game.
Don't want to pay $10 for parking? Park at the Safeway or Raley's and walk 15 mins.
You can go to a Kings game for about the same price as going to a movie or 2 daily Starbuck runs. There are cheap ways to go to a game. You don't have to sit front court with 3 beers and 2 hot dogs to be at the game and enjoy yourself
*I don't want my tax dollars going for something I don't use.
That argument holds no water. My taxes go toward quite a few things that I don't use or think I should have to pay for. Since when did we get to check off on our tax returns what we want our taxes to go toward?
The classic example is I don't have kids yet, why should I have my taxes go toward schools I may never even use them. When I have kids I may send them to private school..why should I pay taxes?
Why? Because it's for the betterment of the city, that is why. Just like the arena will be.
*There are other needs.
There will always be other needs. There will always been homeless, poor people, pot holes and other things. Other cites have them and will always have them, we have them and will always have them. The difference is those cities also realize it's not a choice of one or the other. With this tax that equates to $0.25 cents per $100 on TAXABLE goods we can start to take care of those things.
*Value of the Arena
We hear all about this being an "investment" in Sacramento. When you invest in something you want to see what the return on investment is. The problem is the only thing I heard people talk about is the monetary return.
I REALLY REALLY wish people would think of the non-monetary value ("value" is such a subjective word)
For me, there is nothing like a watching a game at neighborhood bar or restaurant where everyone in the place is there for one thing...to root for our home team.
I can be sitting next to a ditch digger, a lawyer, a doctor, a teacher, an executive manager but for those two hours all socioeconomic go out the door and everyone is there for the one common cause...to watch the Kings kick the crap out of the Lakers. (I hate you Horry!!)
There are very few things in this city that can do that.
There is "value" in that. The value of civic pride. The value of seeing the Wells Fargo Building lite up in purple as the Kings and Monarchs make their playoffs runs, the value of civic camaraderie.
I heard someone at the County Supervisions meetings say something that totally stuck with me.
"I don't want to have to drive to the Bay Area to create my memories. I want them in my home city"
-The memories of taking your children or grandchildren to see the Wiggles with a big smile on their face.
-The memories of taking your daughter to the latest boy band concert with the smile and satisfaction of knowing how much that meant to her.
- The memories of how excited you felt during game 5 of the conference finals when Mike Bibby hit that game winning shot in game while Chris Webber layed out Derek Fisher.
- The memories of how painful it was when Robert Horry hit that game winning 3 pointer at the buzzer of game 4.
-The memories of taking your son or daughter in person or on TV to his first Kings or Monarchs game with jersey that sports the name "Sacramento" on the front. (I have them in storage already for my first son)
-The memories of seeing some of the most entertaining, famous and talented performers and musical acts in the world. Bocelli, U2, Yanni, Elton John, Mariah Carey, Johan Strauss Orchestra, Champions on Ice, Ringling Brothers, ..the list go on and on!
Talk about "value". I want those values HERE in MY home city, Sacramento
I hope people realize that there will be many many other things Sacramento will be able to do with this money than just the arena. There will be an additional 600-700 MILLION dollars that Sacramento can invest in itself. More parks, more police, more fire stations, more libraries, helping the homeless, maybe a new museum or performing arts center.
Where will this money come from if we don't appove this?
There is something in this ballot measure for everyone. Let's not get blinded by the short sightedness of people that only want to make this about the Kings and Maloofs. This is about MUCH MUCH more than just basketball.
If it were just the Kings I would say, yeah it sucks but we will be fine. But when looking at the big picture, we need this new facility.
I urge people to vote YES on both measures in November.