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Redding residents Christian Spaschak, 20, center left, and his brother Jordan Spaschak, 18, with sign, try to get the attention of Shaquille O'Neal as he walks across the basketball court before the start of the Kings game against the Denver Nuggets on opening night at Sleep Train Arena on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 in Sacramento.

Long lines, customer service at Kings games a ‘work in progress’

Published: Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 - 10:09 am

The Sacramento Kings acknowledged they’re having “growing pains” with some of the new services available to fans at Sleep Train Arena.

Most notably, fans have taken to social media to complain about long lines and slow service at the arena’s revamped concession stands. Those stations are offering food from local farms and ranches, along with some local beer and wine.

Fans have generally had good things to say about the quality of the food – but they complain it isn’t getting to them fast enough.

“We want our fans’ experience to be perfect,” Kings President Chris Granger said in an email. “It’s going to be a constant work in progress until we get it to where we want it to be.”

Kings spokeswoman Donna Schwartze said transactions at the concession areas are taking longer because “people are buying more” and it takes longer “to produce some of the new offerings because we’re offering fresher, local ingredients instead of all pre-made concessions.”

The team’s chief financial officer, John Rinehart, shops at most of the concession stands during games and updates the staff on his experience, Schwartze said. The Kings are also working with the Disney Institute to improve the arena’s customer service.

Some fans have also noticed longer lines at security checkpoints getting into the arena. That’s because the the checkpoints have been moved to the bottom of the ramps near the entrances and because officers are “wanding” every fan, a result of a new NBA-wide policy, Schwartze said.

Call The Bee’s Ryan Lillis, (916)321-1085. Read his City Beat blog at

Read more articles by Ryan Lillis

About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at

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Note: The City Beat blog switched blog platforms in September 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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