David Stern says Sacramento arena project is going 'swimmingly'

USA TODAY Sports

He may want to use different words in this part of the state, however.

Cowbell Kingdom has an update from NBA commissioner David Stern on how the league office perceives progress on the Sacramento Kings arena project.

Well, Sacramento gave us a report that they're on schedule to be ready for the 2016‑2017 season. They've acquired the site. There is one piece of property remaining. It will either be purchased or foreclosed on by eminent domain. In light of legislation that was recently passed, that will not be a barrier to proceeding. There may be a referendum that citizens may try to call for ‑‑ not citizens, actually, non‑union workers who are unhappy to the deal to the employee workers in the arena. But it's really going swimmingly.

An epic bit of wordcraft by Stern, of course. I don't like to demean anyone involved in the political process, so I'm uncomfortable stripping the title of "citizen" from any of them -- the folks motivated by personal desire to end the project, the non-union or anti-union folks, the anti-government/anti-public investment crowd.

But I would note that it's not necessarily non-union workers who are upset with the labor deal for construction as much as it is the non-union construction business owners. The non-union workers, all told, are probably pretty glad that these jobs will go to high-wage workers. They'd probably like to be high-wage workers.

Also, keep in mind that there will still be other construction projects in the area, and with the larger union shops taking this one, more jobs around the region will be open for the non-union shops. That's what makes the non-union pushback now so aggravating: they only liked the deal when they thought they could build it. I have no question that some of the unions would have reacted in a similar way without the labor deal. That doesn't make it any less unsavory.

Anyways, Stern acknowledges there may be a referendum, but he's not sweating it. Are you?

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