Sacramento Kings: Was Their New Arena Deal Unethical?

By Karim Akbar
Ed Szczepanski- USA TODAY Sports

Though it is known as Sleep Train Arena now, there is nothing new about the building formerly known as Arco Arena. Under previous ownership, the paint chipped sections of chairs remained damaged, and debris that had been roped off remained for weeks. So, when the California Senate passed SB 743 Thursday, there was obviously a huge sigh of relief.

The bill which was written by Calif. Senator Darrell Steinberg squashes most of California’s Environmental Quality Act. The bill now moves on to Gov. Jerry Brown to sign. The outcome is a huge win for Sacramento and arena backers, as the NBA has put a strict timeline on the project.

“The NBA has said if we don’t meet this timeline, if we don’t get this project started in 2014, we’re at risk of losing it,” Steinberg told the Sacramento Bee. “The opponents are still out there.”

One of those opponents was Republican Sen. Tom Berryhill who voiced concern, yet voted for the bill anyway.

“Professional sports teams are not the only ones worried about CEQA laws delaying projects,” Berryhill said. “Regular joes trying to expand their businesses in my district and throughout California would like to see their projects approved more quickly too.”

Retract those claws Senator, geesh.

While I wouldn’t go so far as to call the ruling in the Senate unethical, it has raised some eyebrows and I get why people are upset, but you got your team back. You almost had them stripped and now you have them for good. They need a new arena, so here it is. Why so serious, Sacramento? Where is the love?

I also believe that this his new arena will  improve the product on the court as well. As a result of all of this news, Kings fans will show up in droves this season to watch their team. And thanks to the senate ruling, they’ll soon have a state-of-the-art $448 Million arena to take up residence. All of it a big win for the franchise.

Los Angeles-based architectural firm AECOM [Staples Center, Barclays Center] will develop the Arena scheduled to open in 2016 and with it, Sacramento will have a world-class arena because as Mayor Kevin Johnson puts it, “Sacramento is a world class city.” Well, grand ideas like that cost, and in the end, a little special treatment never hurt anyone. Unethical? Please.

Let the Kings win for once.

Karim Akbar is a Sacramento Kings writer for Follow him on Twitter @Kuhreem , “Like” his RantSports page on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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