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Arena Subsidy Case Goes To Judge

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Construction continues on the new Kings arena in downtown Sacramento.

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Closing arguments are complete in the trial over whether the city of Sacramento provided an illegal subsidy to the Sacramento Kings ownership group as part of the arena deal.

Plaintiffs argue the city gave the Kings owners the right to build rent-free billboards on city property and thousands of downtown parking spaces – without any public disclosure.

“The city of Sacramento was in fact subsidizing the profitability of an NBA franchise,“ says plaintiffs' attorney Patrick Soluri. “That’s fraud. That’s collusion. And it’s also, frankly, a waste of public funds.”

But the city says the plaintiffs didn't prove their case.

“They failed to really produce any evidence that there was a collusion or conspiracy among city staff, city officials, the city council to defraud the public,“ says Assistant City Attorney Matt Ruyak. “They basically failed to meet their burden of proof.”

The judge has asked for written arguments to be submitted by Friday and says he'll start reviewing the case late next week. It's not clear when he'll issue his ruling.