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Sacramento Arena Lawsuits Heard In Court

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SACRAMENTO --

Despite a preliminary ruling that favors Sacramento's argument to move forward with a Downtown arena, Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley will take more time to make a final decision of two lawsuits that threaten to delay the $477 million project.

In a hearing today, the attorneys representing several plaintiffs continued their allegations that the city was withholding documents that show that the city and the NBA had an agreement for the Downtown site before the environmental impact report was completed.

But Judge Frawley was skeptical of the timing of the request.

"It occurs to the court that this was done for the purpose of delay," said Frawley.

Attorney Kelly Smith said that traffic was a huge issue that wasn't considered adequately in the report.

But the attorney representing the city says the EIR addresses all traffic concerns, even if a complete solution has not yet been formulated.

"There's nothing wrong with the city's EIR. It accurately and comprehensively analyze the alternatives and the traffic impacts" said attorney Shaye Diveley.

Attorneys for two groups of plaintiffs also argued that the plaza in front of the planned arena, which is already being built, is designed to accommodate an additonal 12,000 people on top of the 17,500 people who can fit into the arena. They say the traffic impact and security issues were not addressed.

The city said that was a far-fetched scenario and that event permits could head off problems.

Judge Frawley did not formal approve a preliminary ruling that dismissed most of the plaintff's concerns. He has 30 days to issue a ruling. If the arena EIR has to be revised, it could delay the bond financing the city needs to fund construction and jeopardize an NBA deadline to complete the arena.