Sacramento, California, is, without question, a basketball kind of town. So much so, in fact, that it is considering leasing its downtown parking area to help finance a stadium that is key to keeping the Golden State capital’s only professional sporting franchise – the Kings basketball team – in town.
On Tuesday, the city took a step closer to making the parking monetisation a reality. In a seven-to-two vote, the city council approved a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to explore a potential leasing of parking downtown, a deal that could earn Sacramento between $170 million and $245 million.
The RFQ is set to be published on Thursday, December 22, with responses due in January. After a review, the city is then expecting to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP), probably in February. The deadline is a tight one: the Kings have threatened to leave town if a viable plan for a new arena is not presented to them by March 1.
A concession can offer the private sector a 7,200-space garage parking lease and a 5,500 on-street parking deal. But Jeremiah Jackson, project manager for Think BIG Sacramento, a local think tank established to come up with ways of funding the Kings’ new $400 million stadium, was quick to point out that the city has not finalised how an ultimate parking lease would function.
Still, he added “this [RFQ] is a definite next step in the process”.