NBA team courts Chinese investors for new arena

NBA team courts Chinese investors for new arena

Sacramento Kings, a key California-based franchise in the US National Basketball Association's professional league, is courting Chinese investors for its Golden 1 Center mixed development plan.

The project will have a new basketball arena, luxury retail, hospitality and residences. It will open in October 2016.

"This is the first time that an area combined with surrounding mixed-use development has been offered as a prime EB-5 investment opportunity," said Ginny Fang, CEO of Golden Gate Global.

The EB-5 program, under the US Citizenship and Immigration Service, grants a foreign investor a US visa for making a $1 million investment that creates at least 10 new and permanent jobs for Americans.

The arena project is being jointly built by Sacramento Kings and JMA Ventures, said Todd Chapman, president and CEO of JMA.

The project has strong financial metrics and also allows investors to contribute to the effort to build a new home for an NBA basketball team and contribute to the development in the city of Sacramento, said Fang.

Investments under the EB-5 plan are allowed up to 15 percent of the total project. The US government finances to the tune of more than $200 million. So, Chinese investors can rest assured about the stability and security of the project, she said.

Chapman said the mayor of Sacramento is a former NBA basketball player, which should reinforce the city's commitment to the project.

Although the EB-5 opportunity is open to the world, residents from China now account for more than 80 percent of such visas issued, compared with just 13 percent a decade ago. So, promotions for EB-5 visas are mainly held in Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang and Dalian, she said.

"The (potential for) job creation in this project is tremendous and will assist EB-5 investors to achieve their goals of granting access to educational and career opportunities for their families," Chapman said.



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