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Downtown Plaza In Play for New Sacramento Arena

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Sacramento is looking for a little magic to keep the Kings. Magician Steve, who entertains downtown, knows a thing or two about magic.

“Oh yeah … We’ve got to keep the Kings,” he said as he performed a few tricks right outside the Downtown Plaza. That plaza is now being discussed as potential site for a new arena in Sacramento.

JMA Ventures bought the Downtown Plaza last summer — and when they did, they did a feasibility study on putting an arena there. Now that a local ownership group is forming to make a bid to buy the Kings, the idea of putting an arena on that site is getting new life.

A spokesperson for JMA says they have gotten calls from potential partners in building an arena there. However, the JMA spokesperson said they aren’t considering putting up money for a stake in the team itself.

That means someone, or more likely someones, other than JMA would have to come up with the cash to buy the team if it were to stay in Sacramento. That local ownership group would have to beat the bid that would take the Kings to Seattle — a reported $500 million dollars. However, the Kings current owners, the Maloofs, might get more money for their team on a lower bid if it stays in Sacramento, because of relocation fees and minority owners who wouldn’t necessarily have to be bought-out in that scenario.

Meanwhile, pro-shoppers say they don’t care about the pro-ballers; they don’t want to see their favorite mall go.

“It’s convenient. I just take the light rail and I’m here,” said Taijah Thomas, a regular shopper at the Downtown Plaza.

That convenient location is exactly why some developers think the location would make an ideal site for a new arena.

Still, Magician Steve has his reservations as well.

“They have a small stage on the second floor, and sometimes the eye-glass store that owns it let’s me perform there,” Magician Steve said.

But the old Kings arena in Natomas isn’t just physically outdated, it’s philosophically outdated as well. Developers rarely build a stand-alone facility like the Natomas Arena anymore. The principal of “synergy” dictates that any new arena would likely come with more shopping, dinning, and entertainment opportunities as well. Perhaps even a small stage for Steve.

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