Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Get with it, Mayor Johnson: Step up with an arena funding plan right now

Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson has been basking in glory over the past week, ever since his seemingly triumphant performance in front of the NBA board of governors.

Yes, KJ put on an impressive show, they say.  And Sacramento got a two-week stay of execution.

But Anaheim is quietly regrouping and still holds a huge upper hand.

And that's why I am unsatisfied - even disappointed - with the Mayor over the last couple of days,

He seems to be playing prevent defense instead of going for the victory.  It's a silly strategy, considering the Kings are far behind and not in front.

Right now, the only thing that will save the Kings is some kind of viable funding option for a new arena.

But on that single question, the Mayor is basically punting.

When asked about a possible arena funding plan, he offers no answers.  And right about now he needs answers.  Big answers.

It's time to get creative.  To think out of the box.

Ticket surcharges.  Hotel taxes.  Call Goldman Sachs, who helped build Louisville's new arena.  Get some Burkle bonds.

C'mon, give the NBA something.

The NBA ain't staying without a shiny new box for the Kings.

And no matter how much KJ brags about the fans, the NBA will not vote against relocation if they don't see an arena plan that makes sense right now.

Some say it's impossible to come up with a plan in such a short time.

I don't.  I think creative minds in a city filled with movers and shakers can get it done.

Just letting relocation maven Clay Bennett sink his toes into the muddy expanse of nothing at the Railyards won't work.  He needs to see how the vision becomes reality on paper.  And so does the NBA.

Time to take the last shot, Mr. Mayor.

Only a few seconds left.

Don't dish it off and expect to get the ball back.