When an issue is in the news for a long time, we in the media can give the impression that it's the be-all and end-all of humankind.
So let's be clear that a downtown arena in Sacramento is not that. Sacramento is a great community and will be one no matter what happens at Tuesday's Sacramento City Council meeting, where an arena deal is coming down to the wire.
There is still a chance an arena could be voted down if the deal makers ask a broke city to use its general fund as a backstop for cost overruns.
Quite frankly, that would be too much to ask.
But if the deal leaves the general fund unharmed, then yes, it's worth doing.
It wouldn't be a panacea for the city, but it would be an important step for many reasons.
If you don't agree, that's fine. There are plenty who don't believe any public money should be used for endeavors involving pro sports teams.
There are those who object to city parking assets being put up for bid and the millions in proceeds being used to fund a $400 million arena.
Some ask: Why not use that money for libraries or other services?
Even as an arena supporter, I disagree with the strategies politicians and consultants sometimes use to sell the arena idea.
The data show it's very hard to prove that these buildings are big moneymakers by themselves. So I roll my eyes when exact dollar projections are attached to Sacramento's proposed arena deal.
But make no mistake, the anti-arena folks distort the data as well and overlook a larger point.
Go to Indianapolis, Denver, San Diego, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Detroit, Phoenix or Portland. What you'll see are arenas and stadiums built in some cases with millions in tax dollars not available here.
You'll also see life, energy, excitement and fun.
You'll see restaurants, hotels and nightclubs. You'll see young people and families and moms and dads posing for pictures with kids that will be joyous memories for all involved.
I want that for Sacramento, too, though I understand that people with grown children might see it differently or take a dim view of the enormous cost of an arena housing events they may rarely attend.
For years, there has been a generation gap in Sacramento's arena debate. In my opinion, it seems many, if not most, of the folks who oppose the project are 50 and older.
I don't have data to back this up and am not suggesting it's an absolute rule. It's just an opinion developed over years of covering the issue in Sacramento.
An arena is a community amenity, plain and simple. To some of the older folks I've met over the years, amenities such as these are extravagances we can't afford amid a deterioration of services due to budget shortfalls.
OK, but the budget shortfalls are caused in large part by an ailing tax base in Sacramento. We've lost too many businesses in this region to let our one major sports franchise relocate. We've spent too many decades failing to develop that big piece of dirt called the downtown railyard.
We have too many dead spots in our downtown to let pass an opportunity to create energy and opportunities.
Nothing good would happen if the Kings left. We'd be stuck with an antiquated building and land around it that presumably would still be the property of the owners of the franchise we no longer had.
That does not sound promising or bode well on any level.
Moreover, keeping the Kings and building an arena would be an important part but only one part of an overall strategy to pump life back into Sacramento after years of recession.
If you look around, you see other positive signs: The Greyhound bus station is finally out of downtown; the 700 block of K Street will be redeveloped.
An arena also could be an important tool for cities such as Roseville and West Sacramento as they seek to attract businesses and workers with disposable incomes.
I understand the legitimate reasons why some say no to an arena. But sometimes you have to say yes as well. Saying yes comes with risks and critics, but it can also open doors to possibilities obscured by uncertainty.
Yes could put cranes in the air and get turnstiles moving. Saying yes could bring life and energy.
Yes, I think that could be very good for Sacramento.
Yes, I want that very much.