Think BIG is a regional initiative launched to facilitate the construction of a new downtown entertainment and sports complex (“ESC”) that promotes job creation, economic growth, cultural development and civic pride across the greater Sacramento metropolitan area.
Since 2011, Think BIG has worked to support progress on the ESC’s design and development timeline, identify a menu of funding options and contribute to a public-private funding plan, and conduct a series of public meetings and studies to educate the public as well as key regional stakeholders.
Arena Plan Development
Since its inception, Think BIG has sought to develop a new ESC consistent with five core principles:
1. Protecting taxpayers by avoiding new taxes and a negative impact to the City’s general fund
2. Maximizing jobs and economic development by placing the new arena in a downtown location
3. Ensuring a public-private partnership where all parties share in the investment and opportunity of a new arena
4. Protecting taxpayers on the City loan
5. Securing a long-term commitment from the Kings to remain in Sacramento
From May 2011 to April 2012, Think BIG assisted Sacramento leaders in developing an arena development and financing plan consistent with these principles. After months of formal negotiations and public engagement, efforts culminated in a deal agreed to by all parties – the City of Sacramento, NBA, Kings, and AEG – at the 2012 All-Star Weekend in Orlando, Florida. The deal called for a $391MM public-private partnership to build a new world-class facility at the downtown railyards that would open by the 2015-2016 NBA season.
Unfortunately, weeks after the deal was approved by the City and NBA, Kings ownership withdrew prior to the start of predevelopment activities. The City and Think BIG explored the viability of building the facility absent the Kings as anchor tenant, but such a structure did not prove to be economically, financially or legally feasible.
In early January 2013, news that the Kings ownership was open to selling the team introduced a new opportunity to pursue the downtown arena. Since that time, Think BIG has been working closely with the Mayor and City officials on a new plan to develop a downtown entertainment and sports complex anchored by the Sacramento Kings under new ownership.
Throughout the process of developing plans for a new arena, Think BIG has prioritized strong public engagement and education. Think BIG has convened over 30 public town halls and community meetings, produced 20 reports, and leveraged emerging social media platforms to further engage the public. As of early 2012, the Think BIG Facebook page boasts over 2,200 fans, and our Twitter account connects with over 2,600 followers.
Think BIG remains committed to the economic and civic potential of a downtown etertainment and sports complex anchored by the Sacramento Kings. We will continue to advocate for the myriad benefits that a well-crafted public-private partnership to build such a facility would produce for the city and region as a whole.