It's been nearly five years since then-Council member Kevin McCarty sat in his chair behind the dais and looked on as Sacramento Kings fans erupted in the audience.
Mayor Kevin Johnson had just jumped to his feet and yelled, “Long live the Kings,” this after a majority of his colleagues had authorized a public subsidy for the new Kings arena.
McCarty, now an Assembly member, was one of two “no” votes against the subsidy in May 2014. But today, McCarty is part of the celebration: He supports a deal to build a soccer stadium, including a $33 million public subsidy by the city.
"I think this is my kind of subsidy, as far as a public subsidy for a sports arena or stadium. I think this is a fair proposal," McCarty said last week during a news conference at the downtown railyards, near where the new arena would be built.
The city council is expected to approve the deal, which would offer the Republic FC tax rebates, infrastructure financing and fee waivers totalling $33 million to defray the estimated $252 million stadium construction price tag.
The Major League Soccer board of governors is expected to meet next week to discuss Sacramento’s proposal. The Republic FC is vying for a 28th MLS expansion team spot.