New arena to bring jobs and revitalized downtown to city
SACRAMENTO, CA – The Sacramento City Council approved the Downtown Entertainment & Sports Center (ESC) last night by a vote of 7-2 after four hours of public testimony and deliberation. The vote solidifies the construction plans for the new arena for the Sacramento Kings.
Mayor Kevin Johnson and the other Council Members supporting the measure touted the benefits the project will bring to the city, including an estimated 4,000 new jobs and a revitalized downtown.
“This was the right decision and it paves a positive course for our city,” said Pat Fong Kushida, President and CEO of the Sacramento Asian Pacific (SacAsian) Chamber of Commerce.“The approval of the Downtown ESC cements a historic triumph for our city,” added Fong Kushida. “I am so proud of everyone who fought to keep the Kings here. Passing this measure not only cements the support of our team but it opens up opportunity for increased vitality and life in our downtown area.”
Council Members supporting the measure included: Angelique Ashby, Allen Warren, Steve Cohn, Steve Hansen, Jay Schenirer and Bonnie Pannell. Council Members Kevin McCarty and Darrell Fong voted against the plan.
Kings chairman Vivek Ranadive addressed the crowd after the vote and received roars of support after promising to the crowd, “this is your team, and it is here to stay.” Ranadive also dedicated his team to the pursuit of excellence, and to make the new arena, “the greatest in the world.”
The business community stands to benefit from the spark of development throughout the central part of the city. Numerous new restaurants and hotels are in the Kings’ plans, in addition to adjacent apartments and new office space.
The $477 million project is the biggest economic development plan ever brought before a City Council in Sacramento’s history.
The Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce working in partnership with the Kings’ ownership group is looking forward to building a strong foundation for future economic development by utilizing local small businesses on the construction of the new ESC.