Can Sacramento’s Railyard Arena Become A Baseball Stadium?

Sacramento was all set to build a NBA basketball arena in their empty railyard for the Sacramento Kings.

The Kings owners, the Maloof family AKA the MaGoofs, said yes with a bit TV event and all the smiles possible.  Just months later they said “No” leaving Sacramento upset, fans unhappy and a very pissed off NBA Commissioner , David Stern!

Now, with a push from the Sacramento Mayor former NBA Point Guard Kevin Johnson, the question is can Sacramento build a Major League Baseball stadium and attract a team?

A lot of people believe the answer to that question is yes.

Aside from the owner of the Sacramento Bee, who also owns the Pittsburg Pirates and the MLB team just down the road looking for a place to play other than the Oakland area and unable to go South of San Francisco because the Giants say “no”….

Sacramento must seize control of its own future,” Johnson said. “We cannot rely on others, or wait for something to come along….”

One sports business consultant, when contacted by The Bee, suggested Johnson would be making a mistake if he dropped his focus now on keeping the Kings. …    “Possession is nine-tenths of the law,” said Andy Dolich, a former Oakland A’s executive. “The Kings are Sacramento’s. The River Cats are Sacramento’s, and a shining light nationally as to how a well-run franchise can be extremely successful.     “Wouldn’t you counsel him to keep his eye on the prize of the team that he has?

It is definitely complicated, but Sacramento could keep the Kings and attract a baseball team down the road.  I believe that having a stadium here could make the Maloofs change their mind about leaving town…if that is what they want to do.

Read more here
The negatives:  a stadium costs more to build than an arena.  Significantly more like close to twice as much as an arena and when you are talking about an arena that would have cost $400 Million to construct….that is a lot of money.
The positives:  From the city’s Point of View the season is longer meaning the stadium is in use more meaning more money.  The seating would be larger, stadiums seat more people.  It could be significantly larger, even in an “intimate” stadium.  The railyard is the perfect place for a stadium, maybe even more perfect than an arena.  You can do more things with a stadium.  Concerts, events…you can attract groups & people that might bypass an arena.
As I said on this Blog back in March:
Does Sacramento still dream of being the future home of the MLB Oakland A’s?

It was true when I was in my 20s and is true now.
I still have my T-shirts.
The Sacramento Raiders and The Sacramento A’s.
Back in that old-time capsule I really believed it would happen.  I’m not a big baseball fan.  Haven’t been since the old Dodger days of the late 1950s thru late 1960s.  Brooklyn and Los Angeles.  Especially Sandy Koufax.
When the A’s farm team the Sacramento River Cats, opened the stadium in West Sacramento and has continued to win big almost every single year that they have been here that dream rekindled.”
Sometimes a whole city has the same dreams.
You can bet there is a lot more to come on this story.
July 9th:
The Oakland A’s go public and advise everyone that they have already told Mayor Johnson they “have no interest” in moving to Sacramento.  They do have a big interest in moving to San Jose.  But San Francisco has already told the entire world they “will not” allow that to happen.  So the A’s want to move South but will not be able to.  They don’t want to say in their current Oakland stadium which frankly has been falling apart for twenty years.
I don’t know what will happen.  I just know I want my city to have a professional Major League baseball team.  I also want my city to have a National Football League team and I know the Raiders need a place to play other than the crumbling stadium in Oakland.  And they have told everyone that they have no interest in staying in Oakland.  They want to return to Los Angeles.
And I have always believed in that phrase “If you build it they will come!”

How Bad Are The Owners Of The Sacramento Kings? Bad!!

Get this.  Marcos Breton is NOT the sports writer of the Sacramento Bee.  He just should be.

He understands the game and he certainly understands the Sacramento basketball team the Sacramento Kings.  And most important now he understands how bad the Kings owners, the Maloof family AKA: the MaGoofs, are for Sacramento.

Bretons article today is titled Sacramento stuck with the low-rent Maloofs  and unfortunately Breton is right.  He wrote an article about one of his visits to the Arena to attend a Kings game last season that was just so insightful it blew my mine.

In that article he made point after point showing how little the Maloofs cared for their current arena, while the rest of us were focused on the new arena.  He understood that the new arena would never be built….solely because of the Maloofs.  No one else understood this.

Now Breton show us why the Maloofs keep up ownership of the Kings.  A team they could easily sell.

“Some Bay Area media friends repeatedly ask me: Why don’t the Maloofs just sell the Kings?

My answer: What else would they do with themselves?

They lost the family liquor business. They lost the Palms Casino in Las Vegas. If you follow them on Twitter, you see them hawking super-cool iPhone cases and occasionally promoting little skateboarding events. None of the brothers is married or has children. The Kings are it for them.

So the California capital is stuck with these guys. The happy ending that Sacramento wanted for the Kings – in a downtown arena at the old railyard – is the polar opposite from the happy ending that the Maloofs want.

Their strategy has been clear for years: Wait for an obscene deal to fall into their laps where someone else pays for everything while they control all the profits.

The arena plan Mayor Kevin Johnson had devised, one the NBA fully approved, came with onerous conditions – such as the Maloofs putting money into the building and pledging collateral on their loans.

Oh boy! Those were fighting words for the Maloof boys!”

Again, my friend Breton is NOT a sports guy.  He is a very intelligent man who understands the Kings and the owners in ways the rest of us just don’t.

So why have I been hitting the Maloofs so hard for mismanaging the Kings as they see fit?

Because they are so unbelievably disingenuous. Because they don’t have the guts to simply say that Sacramento doesn’t work for them.

Instead, they carry on the charade of looking for a way to blame Sacramento as a reason for relocating the team.

Don’t listen to their words. Study their actions.”

He points out that the Maloofs continue to say that there was strong “local opposition” to the new arena.  And yet, as Breton explains, the group most strongly opposed could not get enough people to sign their petition to put the issue on the ballot!!
Read Breton here and gain some real insight into sports.  I salute you sir.

Have Roses Really Lost Their Bloom???

Have roses really lost their bloom?  Have roses luster faded?  Are we on the verge of having the great hybrid teas disappear?  Forever??

It seems that homeowners and renters looking to pretty up their landscape have been avoiding roses, especially the hybrids.  If they do plant roses they go for the easy compact shrub roses.

Not as beautiful.  Not as fragrant.

But easy.

Is that really what has happened to us?  In so many areas?

The fast and the easy instead of the important, the challenging?

Yes, the hybrids and the antique roses may be difficult to propogate and grow.  Yes, you have to learn how to cut and trim the bushes.  In most areas you have to learn how to protect your rose bushes for the winter.

But they give back so much more than they take.  A little time, a little knowledge and care and you have a rose bush that will last a lifetime.  A bush that you can share with others.  And a hobby that you can enjoy while it adds beauty to your yard and your neighborhood.

Surely we don’t want to see themdisappear?

Well, maybe we do.  Jackson and Perkins is the premier rose provider for the home gardner and has been for decades.  A couple of years ago the company filed for bankruptcy protection.

Our desire for the carefree – no-iron shirts, no-wax floors, and now low-maintenance yards – has brought California’srose industry to a crossroads.

“At some point, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. (Landscape) roses will be all you have; the beautiful, unique hybrid teas will be gone,” said Charlie Anderson, president of Weeks Roses, the only major company still creating new varieties of full-size roses

I observed dramatically fewer roses in the nurseries this year,” said T.J. David, co-founder of the World Peace Rose Garden in Capitol Park.

“The financial ills of the rose growers will cause a slowdown in the number of new varieties of roses that are available for sale,” he said. “Since growers make plans years in advance, it may take a year or two to see the full impact.”

What does all of this mean, especially to the main rose growing area of the Central Valley of California (my home)?

The annual wholesale value of California’s rose crop dropped 55 percent from a high of $61.05 million in 2003 to $27.20 million in 2010, according to nursery industry expert Hoy Carman, a retired UC Davis professor.”

A Guide To Roses (from the Sacramento Bee, Debbie Arrington)

Garden roses – the type you find in retail nurseries – are divided into classes based on bush size and blooming habit. The major classes include:

Hybrid tea – The classic rose with long stems and large solitary buds; bushes grow 4 to 6 feet tall. Flowers typically have 25 to 40 petals with new blooms every six to eight weeks. More than 10,000 varieties have been introduced to the commercial market.

• Grandiflora – Introduced in 1954, this cross between a floribunda and a hybrid tea grows 6 to 8 feet tall with massive clusters of tea-size blooms.

Floribunda – Growing in popularity, this class offers abundant flowers in massive clusters. These roses are rarely out of bloom and tend to stay more compact – a plus for smaller gardens. They’re also hardier than teas and relatively easy care.

• Miniature – As their name implies, these roses look like mini teas or floribundas on compact bushes, which usually stay under 2 feet tall. Popular in borders and pots.

• Miniflora – A new class introduced in 1999, these smaller roses fit between miniatures and floribundas in size.

Climbers – This class reflects its growing habit – up. With a wide range of flower forms, climbers actually don’t climb, but grow very tall with support – often 20 feet or more.

Shrub – These bushes like to sprawl, which makes them popular for landscaping. Depending on variety, size ranges from 2 to 15 feet tall. The popular Knock Out, Drift and Simplicity series all are shrubs; they’re ultra-low maintenance, disease-resistant and very hardy. David Austin‘s English-style roses – with 80 or more petals – also are shrubs.

Buy a hybrid tea or climbing rose.  Take a short 1 or 2 hour class on caring for roses at your local nurserie, big box store or community college.  You will have many summers of enjoyment and beauty for a small investment of time.

California Capitol Airshow in Sacramento

On September 10th & 11th, 2011 Sacramento plays host to the California Capitol Airshow.  This is the Sixth Annual airshow and  “this year’s event will entertain, mesmerize, and educate fans of all ages with exhilarating jet demonstrations, world-renowned aerobatic performers, jet trucks, warbirds, and an endless variety of interactive displays. Honoring the courage and sacrifice of our veterans, as well the men and women who currently serve our great nation, this is sure to be an event that you will never forget” as the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau says.

You can follow the Convention & Visitors &Bureau on Twitter @SacramentoCVB

A great Sacramento information site is Sacramento Discover Gold  and you can Twitterize them @DiscoverGold to follow information about all the great things to do in my hometown.

The California Capitol Airshow is a (501c3) non-profit corporation created by the County of Sacramento and “the mission of the California Capital Airshow will, in part, be accomplished by giving back to the community through the awarding of scholarships for (people) interested in pursuing careers in aviation, aeronautics, and aerospace.”

So, when you buy your tickets for the airshow you are providing scholarships for some great kids.  Nice!!  I love Sacramento, it is a great community.

Where is the airshow?

3745 Whitehead Street
Mather, CA 95655

Phone: (916) 876-7568

e-mail  executivedirector@claiforniacapitalairshow

Airshow Hours:   9 am to 5 pm each day

Parking:   Mather has a lot of parking and the cost on the 10th & 11th is $10.

You can buy a parking voucher online here.

OK, how much are tickets?

Ages 6-12 $5 ONLINE ($10 at the gate)
Adult 13+ $12 ONLINE ($15 at the gate)
BudweiserFamily Fun Pack $40BUY ONLINE HERE AND SAVE!!
Update September 11th:  The first day of the 2011 Airshow was a big success in Sacramento.A nice article here from the Sacramento Bee.  Thanks @SacBee

“Featured attractions include the F-15 Strike Eagle and F/A-18 Hornet  demonstration teams”

Update September 12th:  Here is a slideshow of photos from September 11 at the 2011 Airshow.  Thanks to @SacBee

Update September 13th:  This is a link to the Sacramento Bee article wrapping up the airshow.  A large crowd of more than 120,000 people watched the 2011 Sacramento Capitol Airshow.  Nice crowd and great show!!

This years star for the crowd was the F-22A Raptor.

This Raptor video is not from this airshow but gives you an idea of what Sacramentan’s got to see.

Sacramento Mile results from July 30 2011

Did you go??  Alright!!!!

Eleven photos are here in the Sacramento Bee newspaper

Beautiful photos of the various heats.  thx @sacbee

The grandstands were PACKED to the rafters.  Nice!!

The results via Live Timing:

Sacramento Mile Results via Live Timing at end of race
Results via Live Timing (check link below for final results)
1 42 Bryan Smith
2 4 Chris Carr
3 1 Jake Johnson
4 9 Jared Mees
5 7 Sammy Halbert
6 12 Brad Baker
7 2 Kenny Coolbeth, Jr.
8 23 Jeffrey Carver Jr.
9 62 Luke Gough
10 59 Willie McCoy
11 28 Shaun Russell
12 20 Matt Weidman
13 99 PJ Jacobsen
14 69 Jethro Halbert
15 15 Nichole Cheza
16 26 Brandan Bergen
17 32 Shawn Baer
18 27 Robert Pearson
I hope everyone had fun and enjoyed the race AND the fair.
RACE Video
On-Board Video