Two years after groundbreaking, the 700,000-square-foot downtown arena and entertainment complex at 5th and K streets is ready.
We’ve curated everything you need to know about the Golden 1 Center. Scroll down to learn more about transportation, parking, safety, food, technology, design, art, future events and much more.
This story will be updated through the next few weeks with more details, more links and more videos as The Sacramento Bee covers the opening.
RUN UP TO THE OPENING
▪ For many, the Golden 1 Center open house was almost a spiritual experience – a reflection of the little-town-that-could, and testament to a changing urban landscape.
▪ Regional Transit officials estimated their trains carried about 4,000 passengers to the arena for the open house.
▪ The city of Sacramento will pay $18.3 million each year to help fund the Kings’ new $557 million downtown arena – a financial burden that won’t expire until 2050. While the city has valued its arena subsidy at $255 million, its total principal and interest payments will total nearly $626 million by the time the bonds is are finally paid off.
▪ Building the team’s practice facility downtown, instead of leaving it at the site of the old arena in Natomas, added $30 million to the cost of construction.
▪ Millions more dollars have been spent on reconfiguring the basic interior design to move hundreds of additional seats into the lower bowl, bringing more fans closer to the action.
▪ The arena has been, and will continue to be, a major generator of jobs – considerably more than predicted.
▪ The arena will employ as many as 2,000 workers on event nights, hundreds more than at Sleep Train Arena.
▪ Approximately 4,000 sheet-metal installers, electricians, plumbers and other construction workers have swarmed over the site since the fall 2014 groundbreaking.
▪ Although final terms are still being worked out with the Kings, control over a suite is one of the concessions the City Council obtained from the team in 2014, when it agreed to contribute a $255 million public subsidy to the arena. The deal also gave the city the right to host several events at the arena each year. The Kings will operate the building, but the city actually will own it.
▪ Distributing suite tickets and supervising citizens who use the box is expected to be such a hefty job that the city is looking to hire a dedicated administrator who will be paid between $85,000 and $107,000. The person will be required to attend every event as a city chaperone to make sure invitees behave by the rules.
▪ Elected officials have their own cache of tickets to draw on. The mayor has 10 percent set aside for his personal use. Each council member gets a 2 percent allotment, taking up 16 percent of tickets annually. Those tickets can be used for constituents or organizations they support.
▪ The Kings named the street leading to the front door of the arena in honor of the former NBA commissioner who helped keep the franchise in Sacramento: 500 David J. Stern Walk.
▪ The Kings secured long-term leases on all 82 luxury and “loft-style” suites.
▪ The Golden 1 Credit Union signed a multimillion-dollar deal to name the arena. Sources familiar with the deal said California’s largest credit union will pay the Kings $120 million over 20 years.
▪ Golden 1 members will get presale opportunities to buy tickets to certain arena events, as well as discounts on Kings merchandise. Golden 1 is installing six ATMs inside the building and one outside, in Downtown Commons.
▪ The city of Sacramento will close several major streets around the arena both before and after large events.
▪ The north and southbound J Street exits from Interstate 5 are expected to be a choke point for arena traffic on weekday event nights.
▪ The Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates will contract with the Kings to run a free “bike valet” service in Cesar Chavez Plaza on game and concert nights.
▪ The Kings will install more than 100 bike racks around the arena as well.
▪ Cyclists are not allowed to ride in the arena plaza, but can walk their bikes through it.
▪ The Capitol Corridor service is adding late-night trains in downtown Sacramento, beginning at 10:30 p.m., as an alternative to driving. The trains will run the normal Capitol Corridor route to the Bay Area. Nearby stops will include Davis and Suisun City and later a new station under construction between Vacaville and Fairfield.
▪ Regional Transit plans to add up to two additional trains after events to help accommodate the estimated 1,225 Kings fans projected to ride light rail to and from sold-out games.
▪ RT is investing $6 million to upgrade stations in time for the arena opening, including better lighting. The agency doubled its cleaning staff. Stations are getting more spray washing and trash pickups.
▪ RT offered free rides to people with arena tickets to the open house, so it remains to be seen how many people will chose to ride at upcoming events when they have to pay.
▪ RT is offering up to $5 off rides for people who use Uber, Lyft or Yellow Cab to go to or from six selected light-rail stations on event nights this year.
▪ RT will add trains on event nights at the arena, stationing them so that they can leave as soon as they fill up, rather than waiting for regular 15-minute intervals. The agency is in talks with Folsom city officials about extending night trains into downtown Folsom.
▪ Sacramento officials are looking to hire someone to promote transit by turning light rail stations into party sites when the arena opens this fall.
▪ The City of Sacramento has set up three zones a few blocks away where ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft – or anyone actually – can drop off and pick up passengers. Those designated sites: J between 3rd and 5th on the north side curb; I between 7th and 8th on the north curb; and 4th between L and Capitol Mall.
▪ The Roseville City Council voted to provide shuttle bus service from downtown Roseville to a spot near the new arena in downtown Sacramento. The actual spot near the arena is still being finalized. If the service proves popular, city officials said they’ll consider running the shuttles for other events.
▪ YoloBus will offer 15-minute shuttles, called The Y, from West Sacramento during events with 10,000-plus attendees. The agency will offer bus service from Davis and Woodland to the shuttle stop.
▪ The city of Sacramento extended the two-hour parking limit enforcement time period to 10 p.m. in downtown and midtown. Residents can request temporary residential parking passes for visitors.
▪ Fans who purchased the top suite packages are being offered free parking under the team practice facility inside the arena, and in a private garage operated by the Kings across L Street, Kings officials said. Those spots do not have a price tag because they were included in the ticket package.
▪ Parking meters within three blocks of the arena will cost $18.75 for the evening during Kings games and major concerts. If you pre-pay for a city garage online, that night’s parking will cost you $11.25. If you just show up at a city garage the night of your event, it’ll cost $15.
▪ The city plans later to offer advance parking for arena-goers in two other city garages: the Memorial garage at 14th and H streets and in the other garage the city owns in Old Sacramento, using the city’s upcoming web-based reservation system.
▪ The city wants more longer-term visitors to park in garages, leaving more meter spots open for short-term parking.
▪ City officials say they have reached a deal with the state to allow arena employees to park under the W-X freeway. Those employees would take shuttles to the arena or use light rail from the Broadway station.
▪ The city is involved in a $5.5 million effort to modernize five city-owned downtown garages to handle peak flows before and after arena events.
▪ People with disabled placards on their cars can be dropped off and picked up at a special spot - a small stub of 4th Street just south of J Street between the downtown cinema complex and Holiday Inn. It’s a block and a half west of the arena main entrance. A handful of disabled people have complained that’s too far.
▪ Police say they plan to have squadrons of officers on the streets during major events, including officers on foot, bikes, horses and motorcycles and in patrol cars. The Kings will pay for a portion of those extra officers under an agreement with the city.
▪ RT officials say they will have a transit officer or guard on every train to and from the arena, and guards at most light-rail stations during arena events.
▪ The Downtown Sacramento Partnership will deploy extra downtown guides.
▪ The city of Sacramento is installing 20 security cameras downtown – 10 at intersections near the arena and 10 on city garages.
▪ City police and RT officials are launching what they call a “real-time crime center” near downtown where officers will monitor camera feeds from around the downtown, including rail stations, on event nights. The arena will house a command center, staffed by Kings employees and city workers, also monitoring street cameras.
▪ The city of Sacramento is installing 104 pedestrian-level streetlamps on dimly lit blocks leading to the arena as well as several parts of midtown.
▪ Downtown advocates are hopeful the big crowds expected on arena-event nights will make the homeless population seem less visible.
▪ Fans will pass through metal detectors and have their bags searched. The team will employ bomb sniffing police dogs.
▪ City inspectors have determined there are no fire or other safety issues present and the arena can operate.
▪ Firefighters, cops and canine officers, and hazmat units have toured the facility.