Judge Issues Tentative Ruling on Arena Lawsuit

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SACRAMENTO-

Demolition at the site of what will be the new Kings arena is the most visible sign of progress in downtown Sacramento.

"There's gonna be a lot of traffic, many people, but see the thing is when you want progress other things gonna come with that progress," Juan-Pedro Aguayo said as he watched the earth-movers in action.

Two community groups suing over the wrongs they believe might come to Sacramento with that progress got a boost from a tentative court ruling released Thursday as it relates to the arena traffic that could clog downtown streets.

"We're very excited that the judge has found favor on a couple of our points there. What we're really hoping to do is that this will be  an opportunity to bring the city and the Kings back to the negotiating table so that we can see more public benefits come out of the public subsidy that's being used to underwrite the arena," said Darryl Rutherford with the Sacramento Coalition for Shared Prosperity.

Rutherford is part of one of the petitioning groups attacking the city's handling of the environmental impact report for the Kings new home in downtown Sacramento.

Thursday, Judge Frawley issued a tentative ruling in the matter that discounts many of their points.

But when it comes to mitigation efforts for arena traffic the ruling says there does seem to be an error in the city's considerations.

Frawley called it an "inadvertent error."

He also says, "the court does not agree however that it is harmless error, as it renders the performance standards potentially unenforceable."

Rutherford says Sacramento forgot all about all those extra uses the arena offers besides the 17,500 official event seats.

"But then they go and state that there will be 2,000 standing room only seats and  potentially an outdoor venue that could attract upwards of 5,000-plus attendees to that as well. that is probably the biggest issue." he said.

Shawn Lynch, known as Mac Shawn in the rap game, is hoping to get booked for a show in one of those venues and that fans could get there to see him.

"Ain't gonna be too bad," he said when asked about a potential traffic nightmare downtown.

As for the city of Sacramento, attorney James Sanchez says "we are pleased with Judge Frawley's tentative ruling and are prepared to address the traffic mitigation questions."

Frawley's already sided with the city quite a bit - tossing claims that the arena plan would hurt access to Old Sac and that affects to Interstate 5 hadn't been evaluated.

The tentative ruling also disregards claims by petitioners that city police had not properly studied and strategized for the potential for crowd violence around the new Kings' facility.