Sacramento Kings hire arena architect

Published: Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3B
Last Modified: Wednesday, Sep. 4, 2013 - 8:20 am

The Sacramento Kings are expected to announce today they have filled out their downtown arena construction team with the hiring of AECOM, a Los Angeles-based heavyweight in international sports architecture.

AECOM will take the lead this fall and next spring in designing a $448 million arena in Downtown Plaza, team President Chris Granger said.

The group will work in a Sacramento studio to enhance local input for what Granger said will be the most technologically advanced and noisiest arena in the world.

Construction is expected to start next August or September, Granger said.

AECOM put together the venue master plan for the London 2012 Olympic Games and has a similar role for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. It has been lead architect for 11 NBA arenas, including the recently opened Barclays Center in Brooklyn. AECOM also was the architect for Aggies Stadium at the University of California, Davis.

"We have assembled the best artists in the world to design and build the new arena," said Kings owner Vivek Ranadive in a press statement. "AECOM has the résumé to design and create the most technologically advanced and fan-centric arena in the world."

Jon Niemuth, director of AECOM Sports, Americas, said his group is "prepared to design an arena that … will transform downtown and the entire region."

The Kings' construction team also includes previously hired project manager ICON Venue Group, lead builder Turner Construction, and Sacramento developer Mark Friedman.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson applauded the hiring, saying, "AECOM's selection continues to prove that the best and brightest in the world believe in this project and in our community."

Call The Bee's Tony Bizjak, (916) 321-1059. Follow him on Twitter @tonybizjak.

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