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Future of the Railyards and Publicly-Funded Arenas Up in the Air

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, April 16, 2012

The disintegration of a deal to build a new sports and entertainment complex at the Sacramento Railyards leaves the City of Sacramento with an arena-size hole to fill.

Mayor Kevin Johnson says he will meet with members of the City Council and the City Manager's office to plan for the future of the project. 

JOHNSON: "We all want to get together, talk to the City Manager, brief council.  And then either today or tomorrow I think we could have a pretty a comprehensive response." "

The Mayor says at this point, it doesn't appear the Maloofs will be involved with the Railyards…and the City won't be involved with any renovation of Power Balance Pavilion.

JOHNSON: You can't expect us as a community to work for two years to do something and then all of a sudden say, 'We've changed our mind.'  There's an impact on our investment, the resources that we put in.  You can't do that."

The City Council does not have anything arena-related on its agenda for tomorrow, but there is expected to be a discussion during closed session.

The plan to put an arena at the Railyards may be dead, but a group opposed to any public funding of an arena without a public vote is still collecting signatures for a ballot measure. 

Julian Camacho with STOP -Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork- says his group will continue.

CAMACHO: "We've concluded that this effort to pursue a publicly-financed arena particularly here at the Railyards is a many-headed monster.  We cut off one head and another head pops up.  For example, witness Measures Q and R that killed it once before. "

Camacho says the group has raised enough money to print t-shirts and hand out 10,000 blank petitions. 

If STOP collects 30,000 signatures by September, the measure could appear on the ballot for the next scheduled election, or there could be a special election.

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