A chief backer of an elaborate new "basketball performance center" at San Diego State University — approved last month by state university trustees — is a partner in the Sacramento Kings.
The professional basketball team is currently waging a court battle to keep a $258 million taxpayer subsidy for a new arena from going to a vote of the people.
Jeff Jacobs, an heir to the Qualcomm fortune who (with brothers Paul and Hal) is a member of the Kings partnership, has pledged $1.1 million toward construction of a new SDSU basketball training facility. According to an announcement on the university’s website, the total cost will be $14.5 million.
“There is no better entertainment in San Diego than a sold out and rocking Viejas Arena," Jacobs is quoted as saying, "especially as a dominant West Coast power and a growing prominent player on the national men's basketball landscape."
Jacobs is a vice chairman of the Kings, a title also held by his brothers.
Adds the university's news release: "Two full-length courts, eight baskets, locker rooms, film rooms, team lounges, athletic training room and coaches locker rooms will enhance the Aztec Men’s and Women’s championship basketball programs."
Financing details of the elaborate project, including the amount of university funding, have not been released. "The project will be primarily donor funded, and augmented with campus contributions from non-state resources if needed," according to the agenda of last month's board of trustees meeting in Long Beach.
As previously reported here, Jacobs, his brothers, and the other Kings partners, led by San Francisco Bay Area high-tech billionaire Vivek Ranadive, have stumbled into a hornets' nest of opposition from Sacramento residents who want to see the question of the costly arena subsidy put to a public vote.
Opponents say they have sufficient signatures to force the measure onto the ballot, but the three Jacobs brothers and their allies have funded a political action committee and gone to court to fight the public ballot efforts.