05 December 2006

Stern visits Sactown

Now that the Kings' and local Sacramento pols' efforts to build a downtown arena have hit a wall, NBA commish David Stern came to the state capitol to pull a Winston Wolfe. From the Bee article:

Stern arrived in town Monday for a two-day whirlwind schedule of meetings with those in a position to help craft an arena plan, or shed light on why previous efforts have failed.

He said he came with no preconceived notions of what would work, but in meetings Monday he repeatedly brought up the idea of a statewide authority to help finance California sports venues.

Accompanying him was Baltimore sports and entertainment consultant John Moag, who plans to stay in town for at least two weeks to work on the effort.

Moag called the Sacramento arena effort to date "a little rudderless" and said Stern -- who officially represents the Maloof family, which owns the Kings -- will step into the role usually played by a political leader.

Do the words "statewide authority" sound familiar? It should, because it's reminiscent of SB 4, the sports facilities bill penned by State Senator Kevin Murray (D-Culver City). Murray, who's being termed out with November's election, was hired by super agency William Morris in October.

Should a similar bill try to make its way through the legislature, it could face a similar gauntlet to what SB4 faced in committee review. The net effect of this was to neuter SB 4, which eventually died without getting a governor's signature, or even a full Assembly or Senate vote.

It's a good idea to get Stern involved instead of the persona non grata Maloof brothers, but getting public help for the Kings doesn't look anymore promising than it did a year ago. The passage of Propositions 1A-1E puts the state in the hole $37 billion. Why would it be any easier to get public funds now or even in the near future?

And who could be an ally in the legislature? State Senator Carole Migden (D-San Francisco) just introduced SB 49 (cute), which is specifically targeted at Santa Clara's efforts to move the 49ers to the South Bay. Considering the gargantuan amount of infrastructure that would have to be built to make the Candlestick Point/Lennar development plan work, she may be game.


Anonymous said...

Hard to do a State action when there are so many professional teams in a single state.Easier in say Oregon

Jeff P said...

I find the idea of SF loosing out on the 49's to Santa Clara ironic. The proletariate in me wants to see it happen. Either that, or the SF taxpayers to take a Raider type beating to keep the team. It should be amusing to see how this plays out. SF pols must be desperate to resort to the legislature in a pathetic attempt to keep the team against its will. I doubt that it will work. I wonder what Mcgowan thinks of this? Especially if the taxpayers end up coughing up the money to keep the team in SF. Talk about insult to injury.