As Arena Vote Looms, Opposition Enters Crunch Time

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Proponents of the new Sacramento Kings arena voiced their opinions one last time before tomorrow’s official City Council vote. Council members will cast their votes at Tuesday’s meeting to see if the city will go forward with the long-debated construction of a city-subsidized Downtown Entertainment Sports center.

“We think this is going to be a gigantic boondoggle of all,” Dennis Neufeld, Director of Research of Eye on Sacramento said.

The group has previously stated that the $255 million city subsidy is a misuse of public funds. Instead, it could be used for the “Three P’s”- parking, potholes and police.

Neufeld said he is still upset that the decision was not left to a public vote, after opposition groups collected thousands of signatures from their supporters.

“I think Downtown, City Hall, and also the developers and so on involved in this project, were afraid of the voter,” Neufeld said.

The groups plea to change Tuesday night’s public meeting to a larger place was also denied.

“We asked the city to move this meeting to the Convention Center so everybody can sit there, and look face to face at their council member and hear testimony face to face,” Neufeld said. “But now, they have several locations that are n not going to be at the chamber. And people won’t be able to get a taste of democracy.”

Arena supporter, Mayor Kevin Johnson held a press conference earlier today, to announce the ‘Sacramento First’ Community Advisory Council, a group of community leaders who support the economic benefits of the new arena.

“We stand here on the eve of a historic moment,” Mayor Johnson said. “We will do everything we need to do to ne on track for that groundbreaking.”

The City Council will cast their votes tomorrow at City Hall at 5pm. Space is limited. Results will be available to be viewed live from inside and outside City Hall on screens, as well as at a viewing party at KBAR on K Street.

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