The City of Sacramento has spent millions of taxpayer dollars to attract or retain a profession sports franchise. There must be a hidden paragraph in the city’s Mission Statement. That allows the city to casually spend million on sports.
Meanwhile the Sacramento Philharmonic ,Sacramento Opera and the Sacramento Ballet struggle with minimal support from the city. The city’s contribution to the arts is considerably less than cities of comparable size.
The Sacramento Symphony established in 1948 went bankrupt in 97. Earlier this year the Ballet laid off dancers.
The Sacramento Kings to the Oakland Raiders and now there are people in government who wants to divert $100, 000 of tax dollars to the Republic F.C Soccer Team.
From the Sac Bee:
Today the council is scheduled to vote on a preliminary term sheet presented by Republic FC outlining plans for a 25,000-seat stadium in the downtown railyard costing $226 million. If the term sheet is approved, the council will be asked to authorize $100,000 in hotel tax revenues for services necessary to protect the city’s interests as the project progresses, said John Dangberg, assistant city manager. This could include specialized consulting services to prepare documents, tax revenue analyses, or to retain someone with expertise in sports facilities planning.
The Owners of the Republic F.C are collectively worth close to a billion dollars. Kevin Nagles net worth is estimated at $370 million dollars. Warren Smith $22 million. According to the Sacramento Bee other inventors include members of the Sacramento Kings and several owners of the San Francisco 49ers.
There is just one small DETAIL
The team will not build the stadium unless they are included in the expansion of the league. But its only taxpayer dollars. Our leaders are experts in giving taxpayer dollars to professional sports. When the Sleep Train Arena is demolished, so will the embarrassing tunnel that would have connected the Kings Arena to the Raiders Stadium and the concrete poured more than twenty years ago for the new home of the Sacramento Raiders.
Get ready for the wind-up followed by the song and dance
Get ready for the song and dance. City Leaders will tell you the vote is symbolic, they are agreeing to a Preliminary Term Sheet. Its non binding. Based on history the fact cant be clearer. The millionaires will be asking for money from the taxpayers. If this weren’t true, there would not be a Term Sheet.
City leaders will attempt to convince taxpayers why we need the soccer stadium . They will roll out the pre recorded tape, that will tell taxpayers of all the jobs the stadium will create and the hotel and the taxes and other benefits the new soccer stadium will bring to Sacramento. Try not to mention the Convention Center Expansion and the building boom around the 30 year old Sleep Train Arena and what ever you do, do not use facts.
SPORTS vs the arts in Sacramento
I’m convinced if a professional sport franchise looked towards Sacramento. City Leaders would mortgage City Hall and other assets to make it happen. Our leaders have a very narrow view of what makes a world class city. I have never attended a sports event in Paris, or London. Few travelers visit New York to see the Yankee’s.
People travel to attend concerts in Opera Houses. Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, San Francisco Opera House, millions travel the globe to attend a Dance and Music Performance.
A majority of Sacramentians have been excluded in city’s decisions. The benefits from a fully operational Symphony, Ballet, and Opera to the community is immeasurable. One of the outgrowth of the Sacramento Symphony was the Youth Symphony.
Unlike professional sports, the Ballet reaches into the community developing future dancers, future singers. and unlike professional sports every 10 to 20 years the city wont be asked to help finance a new building.
In many cities the arts is an important part of the community
In many cities, Galas to raise money for the Arts are often the event of the Season. These red carpet events allowed people to dress to the nines and brought attention to the organizations.
Hollywood has discovered the power of the arts. As they have taken over the Metropolitan Opera’s Gala in New York. I struggle with the notion of Jay-z and Beyonce being opera fans. But the one day event generates millions for the company.
Sacramento needs to rediscover the arts. I’m not sure there was ever a society page in the Bee ,but they still exists in many cities. A few well heeled movers and shakers sprinkled with politicians in tuxedos and formal gowns could lift the arts in Sacramento, which could make them less depended on taxpayer dollars.
Meanwhile there is the matter of the vote today. If you want less money going to professional sports call your councilperson and ask them to vote no.