Report: Kings hope new arena will become focal point of hip new Sacramento

While the last battles in court and in the city council are waged over the way that the Sacramento Kings will pay for their new arena, the Kings' new home becomes more and more of a reality every day. And according to the New York Times, those heavily involved in keeping the Kings in Sacramento see the new arena not just as a basketball venue but as the center of a brand-new downtown.

In a recent report, the Times laid out all the ways that planners and business owners in Sacramento hope that the downtown reconstruction will revitalize the city. The Times reports that the half-billion-dollar arena will have "aircraft hangar doors" on its north side that will open to a public plaza. The arena is also part of a larger, four-block, one-billion-dollar real estate project that has mayor and former NBA player Kevin Johnson excited:

"We’re in a new era called Sacramento 3.0, where we do things differently and where we control our own destiny. It’s bigger than basketball. We’re revitalizing our downtown. It’s about civic pride."

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive echoed Johnson's sentiments with an eye on tomorrow — and the next day, and the day after that:

"Think of this as a great example of how to create a city of the future," Ranadive said. "Sports is real time. It’s interactive. It’s spectacle. It’s the 21st-century gathering place."

Despite all that, there are still numerous critics who contend that spending public money on an NBA arena is a poor use of municipal funds. But the Kings' arena rolls on. And if things go well, it could be a bright spot around which Sacramento rallies.

(h/t New York Times)