City Officials Approve Money For New Arena Plan Consultants

EntertainmentAEGKevin JohnsonSacramento KingsTaylor SwiftBon Jovi (music group)Basketball

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is optimistic that a key player in his drive to build a sports and entertainment complex has been identified.  His talks with AEG last week lead him to believe that the international sports and entertainment juggernaut wants in on the action.

"They are strongly interested in a proposal to become an equity investor, they are strongly considering being an operator.  That would be a huge coup for this community," said Johnson.

AEG operates key venues all over the world, including the hugely successful Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Target Center in Minneapolis, the Prudential Center in New Jersey, and the American Airlines Center in Miami.  But of key interest is it's operation of the Sprint Center in Kansas City, which earns the city money even without a pro sports team.

"They didn't need a professional team to be a master tenant to make it successful," said Johnson.

One reason being is that AEG's entertainment arm books concert tours for the likes of Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Bon Jovi, Celine Dion among others, and often puts them in venues it operates.

The Sacramento City Council voted Tuesday night, 7-2, to approve 550-thousand dollars for lawyers and consultants to begin negotiating with developers and an operator on behalf of the city.

Johnson's choice is the Icon/Taylor group whose principle David Taylor produced the financially study on behalf of the Mayor's Think Big Committee.  It's no accident that Taylor's firm is an arm of AEG.

"You have the whole team in place now," said Johnson. 

Johnson also said the city's investment could be repaid if the plan produces revenue through private investments, user fees, or a comprehensive parking plan.

Now, negotiations can begin with developers, an operator and eventually with the owner of the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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EntertainmentAEGKevin JohnsonSacramento KingsTaylor SwiftBon Jovi (music group)Basketball
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