Sunday, January 17, 2010

Natomas ESC Arena Proposal

The Natomas ESC Partners have a vision to build a new arena to the north of the old Arco Arena with the intent to using both facilities and doubling the 200 annual events currently held at Arco Arena. The development team would enter into a public-private partnership with the City of Sacramento in order to gain control of the 100-acre City owned property. There would be a ground lease (“site lease”) between a newly created corporation and the City. The level of revenue sharing and operational control of the new complex would be subject to negotiations between the City and the owner of the facilities. Upon termination of the site lease all improvements would revert back to the land owner, the City of Sacramento. Natomas NSC Partners will be working with design and architectural firms such as NBBJ who designed the Staple Center in Los Angeles as well as Nachl & Lewis architects that brought Sacramento the US Federal Courthouse on “I” Street.

The proposed entertainment and Sports Complex would also include a high-rise hotel, green tech Research Park and an interwoven greenbelt. Their financing plan includes naming rights, pouring rights, private investment, seat-preference bonds, advertising rights and the sale of luxury suites. They will also be looking for access to low-cost, tax-exempt financing which they say they have adequate experience in for areas such as landmark projects like this. If this proposal was chosen by September of this year they believe a Sacramento Entertainment and Sports Complex would be constructed and operational for the 2014 NBA Basketball Season.

This location (they say) is the least expensive site to develop amongst those other plans under consideration, although they did not name a price. I see the parking as an issue with a majority of it on the south side of Arco Arena, it just seem odd compared to other suburban stadiums and arenas and people won’t like that. I also see the entire green park space as a problem on two counts. One, the cost in maintaining so much green acreage when the city gets the facilities and land back after the lease is terminated. Our city is already struggling to keep the parks we have in good shape, this additional work load would really stretch resources. Two, the addition green park space would need to be watered and put even more of a strain on a city that’s been suffering from drought fatigue for years. Don’t get me wrong, I love parks and everything they bring to a community but I think this one is too big. I believe three or four smaller parks spread through the area would make a bigger impact on near by residential communities.

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