April 1, 2005

Survey: Support lacking for new Kings arena

Full Report

In the verbal tug-of-war over who should pay for a new arena for the Sacramento Kings, local residents strongly believe it shouldn't be them, according to a new survey by researchers at Sacramento State. In fact, more than half of those surveyed feel the Kings do not need a new arena.

Only 33 percent of those surveyed felt the Kings need to move out of their current Arco Arena home while 56 said they do not. If a new arena were to be built, 51 percent of residents want private funds to foot the bill while 37 percent think a new arena should be funded by a combination of public and private money.

The results are from the fourth "Annual Survey of Public Opinion and Life Quality" in the Sacramento Region, conducted by Sacramento State sociology professor Amy Liu and more than 20 students. It covers El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties.

The highest support for a new facility came from Sacramento and Placer counties, with 35 and 34 percent supporting it respectively. Men also were more likely to call for a new arena than women, with 39 percent of male and 29 percent of female respondents in favor.

People who said a new arena is needed were also the most likely to be willing to commit public funds. Sixty-seven percent of new arena advocates would like the money to come from a combination of public and private money, while 65 percent of those who don't support the new building say if it is built it should be privately funded.

Arco Arena's current site is the location of choice for a potential new arena, especially among Sacramento County residents. While 38 percent of all residents surveyed said any new arena should be located next to Arco, 42 percent of Sacramentans supported the Arco locale. The second alternative for all but Yolo residents was the Union Pacific railyard. And many respondents, 24 percent, have not yet formed an opinion.

The survey found support was not strong for a ballot measure-which had been under consideration-to open 10,000 acres to development in North Natomas in return for having landowners pay for a new home for the Kings. Nor did they favor a measure for land development that would pay $275 million for a generic sports facility not restricted to the Kings. Only 32 percent would vote to build the Kings facility while 26 percent would vote for the generic one.

The survey included 1,002 randomly selected adults in the Capital Region who were interviewed from Feb. 15 to March 16. The margin or error is 3 percent.
Media assistance is available from Sacramento State Public Affairs at (916) 278-6156.

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