Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Build it in Natomas, stupid

The pipe dream that is the Railyards Arena may be the stupidest political folly in recent memory.

With more moving parts than a Rube Goldberg contraption, this longshot plan is a grand slam home run if it somehow comes together.

But the more likely outcome is that it will crumble.  And crumble badly.

Now here's the sad part:  Building a new arena on the site of the current arena would be far cheaper to fund, easier to build, more cost effective as a construction project, and smarter overall.

The infrastructure is there.  The parking is there.  The freeway on-ramps are there.  The footprint is there.

It's a slam dunk at this point simply because the city has probably targeted enough financial sources to fund a new Natomas arena right now.

So what's the upside to building in Natomas?

Well, you keep the Kings, for one.

And you have an arena far sooner.

You don't need to wade through environmental reports, crazy parking schemes, and rely on a plan that may or may not appeal to the Maloofs.

Plus, you don't decimate the economy surrounding the current arena.

I say build in the railyards, but don't build an arena.  Build an entertainment complex -- how about an amphitheatre for first-rate concert acts.

Mayor Johnson, just shelve the downtown arena folly right now.

Save the Kings in Natomas and you still look just as good.  And you still create plenty of construction jobs.

The answer is a no-brainer.

Time for someone with brains to make the right call.