Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sometimes a city just has to go for it

Sometimes, you just gotta go for it.

That's the way I feel about Sacramento's spectacular, last-ditch attempt to save the Kings.

Sure, if you look too close at the numbers, it's probably a bit of a gamble, but it's a worthy gamble.  A smart gamble.

Has anyone seen the Downtown Plaza lately.  It's a sad shell of a mall.  Empty storefronts.  Zero energy.  No foot traffic.

And this is the centerpiece of downtown Sacramento?

There is no billionaire on a white horse who is ready to ride in and save the Downtown Plaza.  Nobody who is ready to infuse billions to revitalize the site.

But there are four so-called whales who are willing to make that investment if it includes the Kings.

That small tidbit alone should be enough to convince anybody about the value of an NBA franchise.

Could the project backfire and cost the city millions?  Sure, maybe.

But it could also turn downtown Sacramento into an amazing destination, boost tourism, and make sure the city becomes an attractive target for young professionals and companies looking for a place with more amenities than just a replica old west town lined with cheesy t-shirt shops.

And what about those citizens who are offended by spending money on such a luxury project when it would be better to spend the money on helping the homeless or increasing law enforcement?

A silly argument.

The homeless and the cops won't benefit a bit if the Kings leave.

Sacramento's city economy is based on state workers.  Those workers figure to decrease in number and see their salaries cut.  That means the only way to increase the budget is to increase the tax revenue. And the only way you do that is by revitalizing the city and inviting development and growth.

Now is the time for visionary thinking.  Now is the time to take a calculated gamble.

Go take a walk through Downtown Plaza.  Look around.  Now stop and visualize a stunning entertainment complex, filled with great restaurants, bars, shopping and a state-of-the-art arena.

Ready to roll the dice?