The Sacramento First Task Force, which was formed to find the ways and means to build an entertainment and sports complex downtown, reports that seven firms and individuals submitted proposals for the new complex, and recently presented their visions to the public at an open house.

The Railyards redevelopment site is the choice of two developers for the new entertainment and sports complex.
Photo credit: The Railyards
The Railyards redevelopment site is the choice of two developers for the new entertainment and sports complex.

The task force will evaluate the proposals in the coming weeks as it prepares to make recommendations to Mayor Kevin Johnson in March.

Mayor Johnson formed the Sacramento First citizen’s task force in October to review proposals for the development and financing of a new entertainment and sports complex.

The 12-member team is comprised of experts in the fields of design, law, finance, arts, labor, development, and communications. Members include Dea Spanos Berberian, Dorene Dominguez, Lina Fat (co-chair), Tom Friery, Mark Harris, Larry Kelley, Matt Kelly, Mike Kvarme, Chris Lehane (co-chair), Dan Meis, Adam Mendelsohn and Ron Tom.

The names of seven firms and individuals interested in developing the complex were recently released, and they include Thomas Enterprises Inc., which is currently the lead developer of The Railyards project; The Kamilos Co., which also wants to see the complex in The Railyards; Tripp Development, which wants it sited in downtown’s Westfield Plaza at the northeast corner of the intersection of 3rd Street and L Street; M&M Group, led by Matt Haines, which favors the Sacramento Docks Area; Doug Tatara, who wants it placed at Cal Expo; Natomas ESC Partners, which is proposing a city-owned 100-acre property adjacent to and north of the existing Arco Arena and just south of Del Paso Road in Natomas; Ali Mackani, who also wants the Westfield Plaza as the site.

In addition, the task force will review an existing Cal Expo proposal and the option of renovating the current Arco Arena facility for a total of nine proposals to be reviewed. 

Meanwhile, the Sacramento Metro Chamber released an initial economic analysis of building a new entertainment and sports complex in Sacramento and says the analysis confirms that a properly located arena will create thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic benefits for the entire region.

“The Metro Chamber has long-held that a new entertainment and sports facility will be a huge job generator for our region,” says Matt Mahood, Metro Chamber president & CEO. “The Sacramento First Task Force’s ‘Threshold’ report shows how—at a time when unemployment is so high—building and running the complex will create 4,095 new jobs.”

Residents in similar sized cities across the county currently enjoy the benefits of successful entertainment and sports complexes, Mahood says. “Our study missions to Charlotte, Indianapolis and Denver found arenas can be located where they serve as catalytic economic development projects. They create not only thousands of jobs, but millions of dollars in economic benefits. And over time, additional investment and positive economic impact follows.

“Closer to home, you only have to go as far as San Jose to see how the HP Pavilion, that opened 15 years ago, was constructed on a site specifically selected to help boost the downtown area,” Mahood adds. “The report shows that HP Pavilion annually provides the city of San Jose with direct fiscal benefits of $5.4 million and about 5,000 full-time equivalent jobs.”

Mahood says he thinks the report’s findings are significant and that it should make Sacramento residents more comfortable with supporting the construction of a new facility.

According to news reports, the Maloof family, which owns the Sacramento Kings National Basketball Association franchise, says that the Arco Arena is old and inadequate and needs to be replaced.