SACRAMENTO, CA - Even as boosters of the Sacramento Kings and a new downtown arena poured into Memorial Coliseum, some in their number were still wondering if public financing should be a part of any deal.
"I think it really depends on what the final plan is. Some of the ones that have been proposed so far I think are a little bit concerning as far as how much revenue the city would be giving up in the hopes of recouping it," said Jeremy Cargile, who was on his way to hear Mayor Kevin Johnson announce a new deal to keep the Kings in Sacramento.
Others said they were still trying to decide if the plan to monetize city parking to help pay for the deal was too big a risk of a public revenue source.
"I'll probably be making up my mind tonight," said Jenn Hall, who acknowledged she was new to the debate.
About two dozen protestors carried signs urging that education be a higher priority than a new arena.
"We don't really oppose the arena. It's how the arena is going to be funded and if it's going to take away from our public schools, our community centers, our first responders," said Kevin Carter with the advocacy group Urban Outreach.
Passersby also expressed concern about using public money for the project.
"I think really you're talking about parking monetization. That needs to be looked at very carefully because you don't want to repeat the mistakes of the City of Chicago made, where you monetize something over a long period and then you spend it all on one thing and it doesn't really pay off," said Richard Lewis of Sacramento.
Still, many who expressed concern about the financing acknowledged that a revitalized team in a new arena downtown could bring a renaissance that would make even skeptics admit it was a good idea.
"A promise of returning to that glory and I think that makes financial sense," said Cargile.