Monday, March 12, 2012

Arena Debacle?

It looks as if U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui might derail the proposed new arena in the railyards shortly after Sacramento Mayor Johnson declared that the city is "on the verge of doing something very special." Her statement was made on where the proposed arena is planned and where  the intermodal transportation center (ITC) was also originally supposed to be built.  
In a SacBee Editorial: Don't build a big barrier inrailyardMatsui draws attention to how the current arena plan might not work. Before the arena plans came to be, for ten years ITC was in the planning stages with both renderings and site plans released in the last two years. This current arena effort would toss out all those dollars spent and years planning the ITC.  After reading the article, Matsui draws concern by emphasizing that the aim should be to create a well-integrated center of architectural and functional significance that has a strong sense of place. I heard that statement to infer that the new arena would greatly reduce the functionality of the transportation center using the current plans, thus putting Federal Funds in jeopardy to fund the ITC.
The article also refers to the Rose Center of the Urban Land Institute suggestion to place a public plaza in the corridor from the depot to the Central Shops with the arena as far west as possible on the site and transportation facilities as far east as possible. The editorial brings up some good points and the comments are informing.


late nite said...

I think "might derail" might be a bit inflammatory... Matsui's article is a timely reminder that we are not just building an arena, but the intermodal station. I completely agree that we need to be careful how it is done, because the transportation hub has huge regional value and significance--more than the arena. That's not to say one has to come at the expense of the other, and I really hope that everyone realizes this and we come to a win-win site plan.

wburg said...

Anaheim doesn't seem to have much problem with the idea of having a transit terminal in close proximity to its sports stadia...

I don't see it as a derail either--just a reminder that there are already plans in the works for the site. If anything, I'm more worried about arena plans derailing the intermodal than the other way around. But I don't see the two being incompatible on the site--they just have to deal with each other. Expecting the intermodal to take a back seat to the arena is a short-sighted approach, which is what Matsui is saying.

There are other things which will most likely cause the arena plan to blow up, such as the financing, but I have discussed that at length elsewhere.