City Beat

Sacramentans couldn’t care less about their sports stadiums, survey says

Golden 1 Center doors open, cowbells clang for Kings home opener

Despite the rain, an eager crowd of Sacramento Kings fans waited for the doors to open for the team's home opener at the new Golden 1 Center arena downtown. The Kings played the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, October 27, 2016.
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Despite the rain, an eager crowd of Sacramento Kings fans waited for the doors to open for the team's home opener at the new Golden 1 Center arena downtown. The Kings played the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, October 27, 2016.

We love our parks in Sacramento. But apparently many of us could not care less about pro sports stadiums.

Just 4 percent of people recently surveyed in the Sacramento area said spectator sports venues are “the single most important civic amenity to their quality of life.” At the same time, 54 percent ranked parks and trails as their most prized amenity.

Those opinions were generated out of a survey of 748 people earlier this year conducted by the Institute for Social Research at Sacramento State and Valley Vision, a local nonprofit that focuses on economic and social development issues.

People also named the local amenities they use most often. Urban parks and greenbelts and the American and Sacramento rivers claimed the top two spots. Old Sacramento was third.

Golden 1 Center came in at 11th – just behind the entertainment trio of the Sacramento Zoo, Fairytale Town and Funderland. Raley Field was 12th and Papa Murphy’s Park – home of Republic FC – was 18th.

Those rankings run a bit contrary to attendance figures, at least when it comes to Golden 1 Center. The downtown arena, which debuted in October with the help of a $255 million public subsidy, had drawn 1 million spectators to Kings games and concerts in its first six months of operation.

Sports venues were also at the bottom of amenities that respondents think deserve public investment. Parks, the riverfront and cultural amenities ranked much higher.

A majority of survey takers said they would be willing to pay between $21 and $30 a year in higher taxes to pay for amenities, especially parks and museums. And you guessed it: Sports stadiums were at the bottom of that ranking.

Republic FC is planning to construct a pro soccer stadium in the downtown railyard, but only if the city’s bid to join Major League Soccer is accepted later this year. Team and city officials have repeatedly said the stadium’s construction cost will not be aided by a public subsidy.

Ryan Lillis: 916-321-1085, @Ryan_Lillis

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