The Kings Rebuild their Capital

The rotting remains of consumerist watering holes litter the American landscape. What was once a forum for youthful shenanigans, Wetzel’s Pretzels, and long hours of loitering, is now desperately seeking new ways to disconnect consumers from the ever-growing e-commerce network. As American shopping malls continue to lose the support of traditional retailers, many are stuck searching for a new way to stay afloat.

While many malls rely on Social Media and other communication strategies to attract more customers, A city in northern California hopes to break the trend through their exhausting renovation efforts. The Sacramento Downtown Plaza is a mall that has been at the center of downtown Sacramento for over 40 years, and has recently reentered Sacramento headlines.

A quick background into the Sacramento community and the Sacramento Kings will give context to the revolutionary decision made by the Sacramento City Council in 2014.

As a group of organizers based in Seattle began working towards relocating the Sacramento Kings to Seattle, the Sacramento Downtown Plaza quickly became the one source of hope for a community that desperately wanted to keep its team. Queue Sacramento’s superman: Vivek Ranadive, an outside investor who approached the former owners of the Sacramento Kings and the NBA about purchasing the Kings. Ranadive’s plan was to purchase the Kings and build a new arena in the capital of the most entertaining state in America. Shortly after Ranadive’s acquisition of the Kings, the Sacramento City Council approved plans to knock down portions of the Downtown Plaza mall in order to build the Golden 1 Center just blocks away from the state capital building.

The Sacramento Downtown Plaza became the focus of Sacramento’s fight for the Kings after investors expressed their interest in creating a centralized hub of businesses, restaurants, and attraction in downtown Sacramento. Once the decision was made to move the Kings into a downtown arena, the Downtown Plaza mall became an ideal location because of its well-documented struggles, and its ideal location.

Another major cog in the machine that fought tirelessly to keep the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento, Mayor Kevin Johnson stated, “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.” Johnson, a former NBA player, understood what the Sacramento Kings organization meant to Sacramento and acknowledged what the Kings organization could continue to provide for the Sacramento community.

As I discussed in my previous post, sports organizations around the world, and especially in the United States often ask the city they reside in for millions of dollars to help build new arenas and stadiums. The Sacramento Kings are no different. While the Sacramento Kings have agreed to contribute approximately $284 million to the construction of Golden 1 Center, the Kings still asked the city of Sacramento to provide $223 million to cover a portion of the costs. While the initial investment is steep, the people of Sacramento are hopeful that the 35-year economic impact estimate of $11.5 billion will come true.

They hope to achieve $11.5 billion in economic revenue (predicted from the construction of the Golden 1 Center) by remodeling the remaining pieces of the Downtown Plaza mall. Construction is slated to begin for new structures that will house restaurants, apartments, hotels, and businesses within the newly defined “Downtown Commons”.

Construction of Golden 1 Center began in late 2014 and will be completed in September of 2016, just in time for the Sacramento Kings 2016-2017 season. The Sacramento community can only be hopeful at this point as they await the completion of the new Downtown Commons, and the Golden One Center.

However hopeful Sacramento Kings fans may be, Sacramento taxpayers can only wait and see if there $223 million dollar investment revitalizes the downtown mall and the surrounding areas, as predicted.



The San Francisco Giants’ Mission Rocks.

As sports organizations continue to struggle to attract fans to live events, many teams look to enhance the experience of attending live games by renovating or relocating to a new stadium.

An organization will often ask its city for hundreds of millions of dollars in order to accomplish these renovations. Organizations have justified these requests by promising that the community will prosper once the new stadium is completed. However, the projected growth within the community is often highly exaggerated by these organizations.

Despite being a minor topic frequently discussed and often argued on major sports broadcasts, we find this topic in the headlines once again as the former Los Angeles Rams / St. Louis Rams prepare to move back to Los Angeles. The Rams will be leaving St. Louis their home for the last 21 years in their rearview mirror as they await the completion of their new $2.6 billion home in Los Angeles.

The relocation of the Rams highlights what has become common practice for an organization when its attendance begins to stall. Relocation or renovation of an existing stadium often cost communities greatly. Cities are often burdened with the decision to spend the money to build new stadiums or suffer the loss of revenue brought in from the team’s existence in the community.

Fortunately there is an organization that has chosen a refreshing new approach. This organization has proposed to spruce up their existing stadium and its surrounding area at their own expense. Rather than ask its city for millions of dollars to spend on a new stadium, this organization has worked tirelessly with the city of San Francisco for eight years to approve a plan that would transform industrial parking lots that surround the existing stadium into a lively neighborhood full of affordable housing, parks, shops and a historic San Francisco brewery.

The Mission Rock Initiative  was proposed by the San Francisco Giants  over eight years ago. What makes The Mission Rock Initiative is a unique initiative in that the San Francisco Giants have not asked the city of San Francisco to assist with the funding of this project. The San Francisco Giants have proposed to build the planned neighborhood on parts of Pier 48, and industrial parking lots that surround AT&T Park.

When asked about his thoughts on the Mission Rock Initiative, Jack Blair, the San Francisco Giants Senior Vice President and General Counsel said, “We think this will bring new vitality to the neighborhood and finish off Mission Bay to feel like a more authentic San Francisco neighborhood.”

While the process has been tedious, in November of last year the San Francisco Giants and the people of San Francisco accomplished an important first step. When the people of San Francisco were given the ability to vote on the Mission Rock Initiative, 74% of San Francisco voters voted in favor of the initiative.

After the initial victory, the San Francisco Giants and supporters of the Mission Rock Initiative will now have to wait through the lengthy process of gaining the necessary permits and approvals, before the crews can begin construction.

Looking to the future, as sports organizations continue to imagine more ways to attract fans to their live events, teams may look to the San Francisco Giants as an example on how to enhance the game-day experience without spending billions of dollars on massage chairs and Jacuzzis.


Let’s Give This a Try.

Testing… Testing… Is this thing on?

As I prepare to make my grand entrance into the exciting world of blogging, I have to admit I am a bit nervous but very eager to finally publish my thoughts on a public forum.

Sports? Business? How about a good in-depth blog about stocks? While all of these topics jetted through my mind, for some reason nothing stuck.

All right. So I decided to post online. That’s really cool and all, but what are you going to write about? In the days preceding this posts, I spent hours trying to conceptualize my dream blog. Videos, pictures, and hundreds of comments everyday, the ideal blog. I was moments away from being the next Internet sensation, and oh man, I could feel it. However, trying to decide what I wanted to write about reminded me of a lot of the nights where I was lost sleep trying to decide which college I wanted to attend.

After far more consideration than I had previously thought it would take, I finally settled on my topic.

What I settled on was a rough, and very loosely defined concept of community relations within industries. In this blog I hope to discuss, and ideally facilitate further discussions about the role and the impact of businesses, organizations and corporations within their unique communities. My goal is to fill this blog with weekly posts discussing notable actions of corporations (businesses, organizations, etc.) from different fields all over the world.