The City of Sacramento is considering the use of eminent domain to acquire a property necessary to build an arena for the NBA team the Sacramento Kings. Last week, the Sacramento City Council voted to take part in negotiations for the purchase of a property which sits on a portion of the site of the future Kings arena in downtown Sacramento. Currently, a Macy’s menswear store occupies the piece of land subject to possible acquisition.
According to the City Council meeting agenda, the Kings’ owners, Sacramento Basketball Holdings, LLC, had been working towards a deal to buy the property, which fell through, and the owners asked the City to step in. The City’s decision to get involved is incumbent on the owners signing an agreement which would protect the city’s interests. The full August 13, 2013 City Council meeting agenda can be viewed here.
Eminent domain is usually a process reserved for public agencies to acquire land for public improvement projects. According to the CBS affiliate in Sacramento, the arena will be funded by the Kings owners, but its owner will be the City of Sacramento. This could allow the arena to be placed in the category of a “public project”. However, the Sacramento Bee reports that property condemnation for sports arenas is not unusual.