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Sacramento writing up the terms of arena deal

"This is much bigger than basketball," said Justin Marshall, representing the grassroots group Fund Arena Now Sacramento, in comments to the supervisors. "It's going to provide more nightlife." Councilman Steve Cohn, who has opposed previous arena proposals, said, "This one is different. It is fair to the taxpayers. This is the first time I've felt we are really going to get this thing done." The authority would borrow against future revenue, generating cash for the arena while giving the city more control over parking rates and other issues than the original plan. Such an authority could create a firewall protecting the city's general fund in case future revenue falls short. The City Hall source stressed that the city will explore all possibilities. But at least one council member said she would favor a plan that gives the city more control. "I could support that plan if it comes down to that," said Councilwoman Bonnie Pannell. The council is expected to take two votes next Tuesday – one on the "term sheet," the other to authorize staff to issue a request for proposals from the bidders on the parking plan.

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