Nexus Plan

Posted by Ted Gaines and Darrell Steinberg on 6 September 2011

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The long, winding road from the tuxedoes of Kings Opening Night 1985 to the cowbells that riled Phil Jackson in 2002 is about to take a sweeping turn toward the future.

 

The "Nexus Plan," a road map for the funding of Sacramento's new entertainment and sports complex, will be released Thursday and will give the region a tangible view of how the project can transform the economy of our entire region.

 

The plan clearly listens to and respects the desires of the area voters, businesses and families, and to this end, it is guided by five principles:

 

  • First, the taxpayers will come first, just as Mayor Kevin Johnson promised when he first proposed a new entertainment and sports complex in October 2009. The public's return on its investment will be jobs, jobs and more jobs.
  • Second, there will be no broad-based citywide or regional sales tax to fund the project.
  • Third, once developed, the project will be self-sustaining – it will pay for itself.
  • Fourth, the Nexus Plan will demonstrate how a majority of the funds can come from the private sector and those who will use the facility.
  • And, fifth, the facility will be publicly owned – it will belong to us.

 

While the details of the specific funding options identified and the ranges of money available within the different funding buckets – private sector, user fees and the public contribution – will be in the full report, the funding sources will largely be aligned by the distinction that they all benefit from the arena – either by the creation of new business opportunities, new tax revenue or the enjoyment of watching the concerts, motocross races, circuses and other massive events that depend on a first-class venue to make their way to Sacramento.

 

Simply put, the developed railyard – with an entertainment complex as its core – will be a catalyst for an explosion of business development, jobs and prosperity, and be an engine of a powerful regional economy for decades to come.

 

Think BIG, the regionally based collaboration of community leaders, labor and business owners – and even Democrats and Republicans – united to create the Nexus Plan.

 

NBA Commissioner David Stern deserves special praise as well. Without Stern and the NBA owners, including the Maloof family, the Sacramento region would not be in position to examine creative ways to build a dynamic economic future. The commissioner, on these pages, early on in the process made clear the NBA's seriousness of purpose when he committed the team to supporting this facility with an annual rent payment that he characterized as "significant."

 

We recognize that the release of our plan is merely the first step – but it's the first step on a bright path lined with opportunity.

 

We have an opportunity before us, one that far eclipses the mere construction of an arena. It's a chance to remake the entire railyard, to give the Sacramento region a signature development that will be a magnet for tourists and residents alike. It is no small goal, but it is no bigger than the talents and drive of everyone who is coming together to lay the foundation for new and continued economic vitality. As the Nexus Plan will clearly show, everyone will win when Sacramento dares to Think BIG.