The proposal calls for moving the state fair from Cal Expo to the Arco Arena site in Natomas; developing the valuable Cal Expo property; and using those profits to help finance an arena at the downtown Railyards. Not so simple – which is why Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson says the next four months will be critical. That’s the length of the proposed exclusive negotiating agreement between the city and developers Gerry Kamilos and David Taylor, and the mayor says there are two key questions he wants to see answered:
Johnson: “The real numbers – the financing. Can this project – is it financeable based on the three pieces of property that you talked about? Number two, legislation. Is the state going to be willing to sell at fair market value? And what happens to the state fair and how does that ultimately impact Natomas?”
Under the agreement, the city would hire a full-time project manager and experts in arena development and financing. The developers would give the city $170,000 to cover those costs. They would also let city officials examine their financial plan – which thus far has been kept under wraps.