City Beat

Sacramento’s legal bill for Kings arena lawsuits: $1.45 million

Construction crews work on the Sacramento Kings Arena on Monday.
Construction crews work on the Sacramento Kings Arena on Monday.

The city of Sacramento is spending $1.45 million on three lawsuits related to the downtown arena construction project, according to a city staff report.

The City Council will be asked Tuesday night during a mid-year budget hearing to dedicate $700,000 to that effort. In June 2014, the council approved $750,000 to pay for outside counsel, legal brief costs and other court-related expenses.

That money is coming from the city’s general fund budget, which pays for most core city services, including police officers, firefighters and parks maintenance.

A trial is scheduled to begin this spring on the city’s eminent domain lawsuit against the owners of the now-demolished former Macy’s men’s store at the southeast corner of Downtown Plaza. The trial will determine how much the Kings will have to pay the owners for the property.

In June, a trio of citizens is tentatively scheduled to go to trial on their complaint that the $255 million arena subsidy, approved by the City Council, was an “abuse of discretion” and “illegal or wasteful.”

Finally, the city is fighting an appeal of a lower-court ruling that said the environmental impact report governing the project was done properly. The appeals court already rejected an effort that cited environmental reasons to halt the start of construction.

Editor’s note (Feb. 5): An earlier version of this story said a lawsuit challenging the $255 million arena subsidy would start in April. The trial is tentatively scheduled to begin in June.

Call The Bee’s Ryan Lillis, (916) 321-1085. Read his City Beat blog at

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