Group alleges Sacramento arena 'secret subsidy'

4:19 PM, May 3, 2013   |    comments
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Sacramento City Hall
 PDF Document: Writ Decl Relief 05 03 13 FILED

SACRAMENTO, CA - A local group is asking court to intervene in their request for documents of the city of Sacramento's correspondence and records regarding the proposed sports and entertainment complex.

Petitioner/plaintiff Coalition for Responsible Arena Development, which describes itself as concerned residents and taxpayers, alleges Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, City Manager John Shirey and others undervalued the city-owned property the city is putting up to help finance the complex. With that allegation, the coalition accuses those named above of conspiring to provide a secret subsidy to the Sacramento ownership group seeking to buy the Sacramento Kings that isn't part of the publicly approved $258 million city contribution.

READ: Records request petition

The coalition claims in the court filing that the Sacramento ownership group valued the basketball franchise at $400 million, far less than a Seattle investor group's original $525 million offer for the team and demanded compensation from the city for the difference.

MORE: Eye on Sacramento Report on arena proposal

Shirey sent this statement in response:

We stand behind the numbers in the term sheet that was adopted by City Council on March 26. The key elements of the City's financing were developed and vetted over the last two years. The City's financial position was improved in this year's term sheet compared to the one presented last year. All of the details are clearly spelled out in the staff report, presentation, and the term sheet."

"We are optimistic about the future of the Kings staying in Sacramento, and a downtown entertainment and sports center which I believe will transform downtown, add more jobs, and make Sacramento a more attractive City to live and work.

Meantime, it was confirmed the Sacramento ownership group, led by TIBCO Software founder Vivek Ranadive, put 50 percent of their offer to buy the Kings into an escrow account Friday, about a week and a half before the 30 NBA owners are slated to vote on a relocation committee's recommendation to deny the Seattle application to move the team.


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