The end of the meeting was reminiscent of last year's arena vote. Mayor Kevin Johnson added the exclamation point as the clerk called for votes, "Pannell? Aye. Johnson? Let's do it Sacramento!"
The meeting began with partners of the investors making their presentations. Bill Crockett with the architectural firm AECOM says the Downtown Plaza site is "incredible" and he sees no reason why it couldn't have the success of the new arena in Brooklyn, "It's stunning -the level of development. Buildings are being sold. Buildings are being renovated. New bars and restaurants are opening up in the district already in its first year of operation."
Supporters outnumbered detractors four-to-one. Jean Fleury was in the minority. She spoke against the use of parking to help the City of Sacramento pay for more than half of an arena, "The parking assets should be used for completing the infrastructure in the Railyards, enlarging the transit hub and developing the riverfront. These projects will bring many residents vistitors and tourists to the City core for many more hours than an arena."
Council member Kevin McCarty has consistently voted against any public financing, "Some ask me, well Kevin, what would you support? What would you support? Well, I'll give you a few things. If it was a Seattle-like deal with roughly about 40-percent public investment and a return on our investment, that would be a different story here tonight."
Councilman Steve Hansen says he is comfortable with the level of risk the City would have by financing more than half of the arena project, "We have four billionaires essentially who have said that Sacramento's worthy. It's been a long time since people have validated us in this way and certainly we have suffered economically."
Labor leader Bill Camp said it isn't often that unions and business groups agree on something, but this is one of those times, "This is the one opportunity we have to do the most important thing that people all over the world want, which is a job."
The council approved the terms -with a few additions. Councilman Hansen asked for support for the B Street Theater and mitigation for the Crocker Art Museum if it loses parking. Councilwoman Ashby asked for a promise of development in Natomas.
The investor group will present its bid to buy the Sacramento Kings and build an arena to the National Basketball Association relocation committee April 3rd. The NBA's final decision will come later next month
Kings fans show their support of the arena plan prior to Tuesday's meetings. The big head images, left to right, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, and investors Mark Mastrov, Ron Burkle, and Vivek Ranadive. (Bob Moffitt photo)
The city council chambers was packed Tuesday night with mostly supporters of the arena plan. (Bob Moffitt photo)