Riot Concerns Rolled into Lawsuit Against Arena Plan

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SACRAMENTO-

This year, a massive riot happened in Seattle right after the Seahawks won the Super Bowl. There was another back in 2010 after the Lakers bested the Celtics in the NBA finals.

But concern over the lack of Sacramento’s study of something similar happening here, now detailed in the latest lawsuit over the now finalized Kings arena plan, has brought out laughter in social media.

West Sacramento’s mayor tweeted Wednesday the suit missed that the arena’s environmental impact report “fails to analyze the chance that Disney on Ice fans will watch Game of Thrones before show and re-enact the Red Wedding.”

For plaintiffs, there’s nothing to laugh at in their 15- page suit.

Click here to download the full lawsuit filed Wednesday

“It was stopped…because there were too many problems with gangs of kids and people getting out of hand,” said plaintiff Adriana Gianturco Saltonstall, about the city’s old Thursday night market event.

“Don’t we have shootings all over town? Is a riot that unreal,” questioned plaintiff J. Bolton Phillips.

Their class action suit against Sacramento and Sacramento Basketball Holdings wraps riot concerns into a long list of attacks on how the city council evaluated environmental impact to the area surrounding the arena site at Downtown Plaza.

A statement from the city says the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) “does not require us to study security as a potential impact of the project.”

Still, in their filing, the plaintiffs take issue with state legislation crafted last fall by Senate President Darrell Steinberg – SB 743.

It trimmed judicial review to just 270 days, something the state’s Judicial Council said  made a fair process impossible.

As a former director of Caltrans, Saltonstall’s says she’s been through CEQA the way it should work, and that what has happened with the arena isn’t it.

“The whole point of it is to look at alternatives and to look very carefully at the impact of the alternatives. Don’t just pre-select something and eliminate everything else cuz you’ve already made your choice,” she said.

“If everyone in this city that cares will stand up and do what they can, we can turn this decision around,” said Phillips of the 7-2 yes vote that the city council approved the arena plan with Tuesday.

Senator Steinberg’s communications director Mark Hedlund offered this statement about the lawsuit’s challenged to CEQA changes:

“Arena opponents have lost every step of the way in their effort to thwart progress. It should surprise no one that as the buzzer sounds, they’re now heaving a desperation shot from the half court line.”

The new Kings arena at the current  Downtown Plaza site is scheduled to open in October of 2016.

CLICK HERE: New Photos Released of Sacramento Entertainment and Sports Complex

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