Nice synopsis and I agree an opt-out clause is one solution (not without its cost as you note). The three questions you posit are certainly among the most important questions to answer. There are a few others, and time will tell how things go in negotiations with the parking proposers, as well as with the NBA, the team, AEG, and the Icon/Taylor group. But we’re certainly on the right track and in the best position we’ve ever been to finance a new arena.
I know a lot of you are uncomfortable with a 50 year parking lease (although I am not sure what is going to go so terribly wrong in 2044 that hasn't gone wrong prior to that). But there is an obvious solution, an opt-out at whatever time period you select.
As an example, say you are offered 270 million up front for a 50 year lease and 220 for a 30, you could choose to put in an opt-out opyion in the 50 year lease at the 30 mark where you just pay a pre-determined cost, say 60 million. You are free of your contract and have made almost as much as you would in a straight 30 year deal.One huge advantage to this even if you end up opting out; The ESC is built and the downtown railyards are revitalized.You may have to figure out how to come up with the 60 million in 2044, but I repeat Sacramento's new heart of the city is complete and the economy revitalized.
This deal hinges on 3 points to me;
1) Is there enough money from the parking to make the deal viable?
2) Is the 9 million in the general fund protected?
3) Is the city protected from cost overruns ?
If all three of these answers are yes, this is a no brainer, and Sacramento wil be well on its way to becoming the great city it can be.
Thanks for your time.