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Despite City Budget Troubles, Johnson Pushes For New Arena

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, May 25, 2011

As Sacramento grapples with a 39 million dollar budget deficit, many wonder why Mayor Kevin Johnson remains committed to building a new sports and entertainment complex. 

Yesterday, at his weekly press conference, Johnson said his focus is on jobs and revenue, not sports.

"I think the questions are fair but I think people have to understand it's not about guys bouncing basketballs, it's about jobs in our community. If that business leaves then that's going to affect police, fire, parks in a much more averse way."

Johnson says a new arena will be financed with private and public money.  It's still uncertain what the city will have to invest in a new arena, but the mayor says his plan is to spread the cost around the region. 
"So I think this gives us an opportunity to get full buy in and have real communication and dialogue with our six-county-region so we're going to need all them as part of the equation. 
Johnson says he's forming a regional commission next week. 
He says so far, all the surrounding counties are on board. 
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