USA TODAY Sports
Tuesday's vote was largely symbolic, but it shows that support for a public subsidy for a new downtown arena is still there.
The Sacramento City Council voted 7-2 to support efforts to keep the Kings in town on Tuesday night, with Kevin McCarty and Darrell Fong voting against the resolution. The vote was largely symbolic, and the Council expects to take up a formal vote on a deal with the prospective whales in March. That deal would lay out the portion of the arena that would be paid through a parking operations lease as proposed (and approved) last March.
McCarty raised some interesting questions, one of which was the difference between Sacramento's expected portion of the arena financing (65 percent) and that of Seattle (40 percent). I suspect McCarty knows the answer to that question. There's a little thing called Initiative 91 that greatly limits public subsidies in Seattle. That doesn't exist and frankly has never been on the table in Sacramento. In addition, the taxpayers of Seattle have funded two other major sports facilities in the past two decades. The total burden of sports arena subsidies is far greater for Seattle residents than it would be for Sacramentans under this deal, especially considering the specific source of revenue involved in our city's deal.
The Sacramento Taxpayers Association, famous for their 8-person rallies to oppose the deal last year, also showed up. If you recall, the Maloofs used that powerful, popular group to help make the case against consummating the handshake deal. Thankfully, our friends from Crown Downtown were a much larger presence at City Hall.
[Edit: STOP, Sacramento Taxpayers Opposing Pork, was the infamous 8-person rally last year. STA is a similar but separate group.]