Among the assets owned by the city of Glendale, Calif. is a collection of classic arcade cabinets once valued at $100,000. However, the city is being forced to sell them all off and give all of the proceeds back to the state of California.
How Glendale got into the arcade game collection business and why Sacramento is getting all of the money is a quirk owed to an economic redevelopment effort from 2010. Glendale bought a building that had been home to a large arcade, intending for that building to become the "Museum of Neon Art." When the owner sold them the building, they got everything in it—including the arcade games—for $1 million.
The arcade, reports the Glendale News-Press, had been the beneficiary of efforts to save it (including a celebrity appearance by Zachary Quinto at one). Ultimately it couldn't be saved and Glendale came into possession of the machines.
Here's where the state comes in: Glendale bought the site through its former redevelopment agency, created by state law. However, these agencies have since been dissolved, freezing any assets purchased with them. Once they become unfrozen (paperwork is blamed for the holdup) they have to be liquidated and the funds sent to Sacramento. A city official said if it wasn't through the state law, Glendale would ahve sold them already and put the funds toward charitable organizations or non-profits in the city.
The News-Press says the city's collection has a fair market value of $108,780. The jewel appears to be a two-seat version of the racer Sega Initial D Arcade Stage Version 3, released in the middle of the last decade. It's listing for $9,000. Others featured in the following report by KABC-TV include Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga and Street Fighter II. It's likely the collection will end up selling for about $40,000 combined.
Glendale's arcade problem: A glitch in the city's game room [Glendale News-Press, h/t Chris C.]