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What’s Next for Sleep Train Arena?

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As the final seconds of the last Kings game ticked away at Sleep Train Arena, the clock started on what would become of the Kings long-time throne.

"I'm a golfer, so I'd like to see a 9-hole golf course. That would be nice," said David Chambers a public hearing at Sacramento's Inderkum High School.

"Something that will, um, that will bring in a lot of jobs ... that's really what I would like to see. I don't really want to see an auto mall or a bunch of apartment complexes," offered Petra Wynbrandt.

"I'd hoped Kaiser would come out here, but they went to the railyards, so something that brings in jobs ... maybe a tech firm," Jennifer Chambers said.

And from the city's new mayor?

"My vision is that we create a high-wage job sector, whether it's technology, whether it's renewable energy, whether it's health care...that we turn that spot into an economic engine," said Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

Ideas like that -- all brought to the table as the community continued to discuss the transformation of the 200 acres that were once the Kings home.

Wynbrandt is a Kings season ticket holder who lost the ability to walk from her home to day games when the arena moved downtown.

When asked if it seemed reasonable that there still isn't a firm plan for Sleep Train she shook her head.

"No... it's time," she said.

"No it doesn't make sense," said Jennifer Chambers.

"I kind of hoped there would have been something already and would have been voted on."

Despite the frustration that the team, which is the developer, knows is in Natomas neighborhoods, the most clear message Wednesday night was that getting this project right is more important than getting it right now.

"It's a long process, and I think the key for us is to do it correctly. We want to do something that celebrates the best of Sacramento, moves the city forward, and we're not just going to take the first deal that falls in our lap," said Kings president Chris Granger.

Lots of work is underway behind the scenes with a land-use firm to determine what might be the best light rail, park space, medical or retail areas in a mixed-use facility on the site.

Granger says homeowners shouldn't be worried that they'll be left with an empty eyesore.

"No, not at all. Not at all. We have every economic incentive to do it as fast as we can while balancing that with the need to do it correctly," he said.

At least five offers on the site have already been turned down according to Granger because they weren't "forward-thinking enough."

He also said a meeting as recent as last week looks promising, but couldn't give any other details.

As part of the deal to build Golden One Center, the Kings have already paid down $10 million in debt on the old arena, so there's no economic advantage to continuing as the land owner there according to Granger.

He says that debt is a "significant weight" on his organization right now.

With so much still to consider and the "right" project still out there, there's still no timeline for when homeowners might see a ground-breaking on Natomas' next chapter.