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.
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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.
▪ The Kings have said that 90 percent of the food and beverage ingredients served at the arena will be sourced from within 150 miles of the facility, cutting down on the arena’s carbon footprint.
▪ What’s more, the program calls for high ethical standards, sustainability, the embrace of local ingredients, environmental friendliness and seasonal options that are diverse, delicious, fast and affordable.
▪ The vast majority of ingredients used in the arena’s food will come from within 150 miles of Sacramento.
▪ Local breweries represented at the arena will include Track 7, Rubicon, Ruhstaller, Oak Park Brewing and Knee Deep.
▪ The lack of cup holders in the upper-level seats, known as the Bridge Level, has been was a lively topic among fans, who could be seen experimenting with their drink placements and assessing the risks of beer spillages and falls.
▪ Legends Hospitality has partnered with several local restaurants, including LowBrau, Mikuni Sushi, Mulvaney’s Building and Loan, Paragary Restaurant Group, Petra Greek, Selland Family Restaurants and Star Ginger. The collective menu will offer wood-fired pizza, wurst, banh mi sandwiches, hamburgers, chicken wings, gyro sandwiches, grilled meats, pork sandwiches, sushi, nigiri and more.
▪ Sensors will tell fans whether there’s a long line at the nearest concession stands.
▪ Sierra Nevada will develop a lounge, called the Sierra Nevada Draught House, that will be on the upper concourse near the main entrance to the new downtown arena. Patrons will be able to see inside the arena bowl from the lounge.
▪ The Kings launched the Golden 1 Center app, saying it will help fans navigate the new arena, order food and merchandise and even simplify the way they get to and from games.
▪ Acoustic panels hang around the arena to absorb sound, preventing bass and guitar riffs from bouncing around the room and contributing to a cavernous feel.
▪ The speaker system is electronically focused, which means sound can be directed in various intensities around the arena instead of just being blasted from a few main spots.
▪ The arena is equipped with extensive rigging and power sources around the building, which allow a concert stage to be configured in different areas instead of a single fixed location.
▪ The arena is equipped with a loading bay that can accommodate four semis hauling concert equipment, a fixture that was missing at the previous arena.
▪ A recording studio, accessible to select fans and touring musicians, is being built inside the arena.
▪ The arena will use facial recognition software to guard access to the players’ entrance. Eventually, Vivek Ranadive hopes to install facial recognition technology that would eliminate the need for tickets – digital or otherwise.
▪ The arena will feature an 84-foot-long scoreboard assembled by Panasonic Corp. of North America with videos broadcast in “4k ultra” high definition.
▪ The arena will display old neon signs from historic Sacramento businesses including Coronet Portraits, Franke’s Pharmacy, Newbert Hardware, Shakey’s Pizza, Sleeper Stamp & Stationery and Tower Records. The signs will be displayed in the southeast corner of the arena’s plaza-level concourse.
▪ The arena holds 17,500 fans, including those sitting in the 34 luxury suites that ring the facility.
▪ Hangar doors above the arena’s main entrance can open, allowing cool Delta breezes air to fill the building. Kings officials say they hope to get league approval to play some games with the hangar doors open.
▪ Most walls are white. Seats are simple black, albeit with purple stitching. The main concourse is wide, and there are no walls separating it from the lower seats and the court. Fans can stroll the concourse or stand in line at a food outlet and still watch the game.
▪ The arena may now have two outdoor digital signs of 700 square feet each, pending approval from a design or preservation director.
▪ Crews installed the building’s aluminum “skin.” The undulating arena walls are etched with 3-inch modernist leaf designs. The leaves, hundreds of thousands of them, merge to create the illusion of billowing valley oak tree canopies on the arena’s exterior. The design, called the “Million Trees” panels, will soften the otherwise space-age appearance of the aluminum sheeting.
▪ The arena has been certified LEED Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council.
▪ The arena is powered during the day by solar panels on the building’s roof. A new 11-megawatt solar farm built by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District on its Rancho Seco property in partnership with the Kings will generate the power to offset electricity used at the facility during evening events.
▪ SPI Solar, born in Roseville and now headquartered in China, built and will operate a $2.5 million solar power system atop the arena. The system, featuring 3,300 panels, will provide 15 percent of the arena’s power.
▪ The arena uses ground-up cooling through a “displacement ventilation” system that is more efficient than rooftop air conditioners and will collect and reuse grey water the system produces.
▪ The Kings have said 99 percent of the construction debris at the arena site – or 101,000 tons – has been recycled, and more than a third of the materials used to build the arena were from recycled sources.
▪ The Kings unveiled a family of new logos that pay tribute to the franchise’s roots in Kansas City and Cincinnati.
▪ Many fans took part in a team promotion for free or discounted tattoos the day after the release of new logo designs.
▪ The arena becomes the city's newest arts center, showcasing $10 million worth of work.
▪ A controversial $8 million sculpture, part of the “Coloring Book” collection by world-renowned artist Jeff Koons, was set into place at what will be the main entrance.
▪ Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission executive Shelly Willis said the sculpture is being treated with a protective wax coating, which will make it easier to remove paint if the statue is tagged.
▪ An enormous mural by the Royal Chicano Air Force, planned for what is now a blank wall in the arena, will pay homage to the late Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna Jr. and the culture of political activism ingrained in this city.
▪ Sacramento artist Bryan Valenzuela is finishing a large installation an art installation that will hang above an escalator well near the arena’s southwest entrance.
▪ Gale Hart, known by many as the “godmother of contemporary art” in Sacramento, is finishing her piece outside the arena, along the L Street sidewalk and in the public entrance to the site at Fifth and L.
▪ The City Council has also approved an audio installation by San Francisco’s William Fontana.
City officials project the arena will host 189 events a year, including an average of 47 Kings games, 20 graduation ceremonies and 27 concerts.
▪ Oct. 4 and 5: Paul McCartney, part of the “One On One” tour, will open the Golden 1 Center as the first musical event.
▪ Oct. 9: The first professional wrestling match, WWE: No Mercy, is set.
▪ Oct. 10: First preseason game: The Sacramento Kings host Israel’s Maccabi Haifa B.C. for an exhibition game.
▪ Oct. 15: Maroon 5, the pop-rock band best known for the hits “Moves Like Jagger” and “One More Night,” is scheduled to perform.
▪ Oct. 18: First home preseason game against an NBA team: The Sacramento Kings host the Los Angeles Clippers for an exhibition game.
▪ Oct. 19: Pentatonix, the multiplatinum-selling vocal group, is scheduled to perform.
▪ Oct. 20: Jimmy Buffett, the easygoing singer-songwriter best known for his hit 1977 song “Margaritaville,” is scheduled to perform.
▪ Oct. 21: Gwen Stefani is scheduled to give a one-hour “private performance” as part of a charity event billed as the Royal Gala.
▪ Oct. 27: The Sacramento Kings host the San Antonio Spurs in the first regular season home game.
▪ Nov. 3 to 6: The Disney On Ice production of “Passport to Adventure” which will begin a four-day run.
▪ Nov. 9: Mexican rock stars Maná, part of the “Latino Power Tour,” is scheduled to perform.
▪ Nov. 10: The Sacramento Kings make their only scheduled appearance on TNT against the hated Los Angeles Lakers.
▪ Nov. 13: The 2016 Mega Winter Jam Tour Spectacular, annual Christian music tour, will feature Matthew West, Britt Nicole, RED, Mandisa, NewSong, KB/Tedashii, Tony Nola and more.
▪ Nov. 21: A college basketball doubleheader: Sacramento State will play UC Davis and Cal will play San Diego State.
▪ Nov. 30 to Dec. 4: Acclaimed theatrical circus group Cirque du Soleil will begin a five-day run of its touring show “Toruk – the First Flight.”
▪ Dec. 13: Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac is scheduled to appear as part of her upcoming solo tour.
▪ Dec. 17: The Ultimate Fighting Championship announced a card that will be broadcast on Fox. No fighters have been named, but UFC officials said the card likely will feature one or more regulars from the strong local lineup of contenders.
▪ Dec. 28: Musical powerhouse Trans-Siberian Orchestra is scheduled to perform.
▪ Jan. 8: The NBA’s newest superteam, the Golden State Warriors, makes its first trip of the season to Sacramento.
▪ Jan. 13: The Cleveland Cavaliers, the defending NBA champions, make their only appearance this season.
▪ Jan. 18. The Harlem Globetrotters, celebrating their 90th anniversary world tour, are scheduled to perform.
▪ Jan. 20 to 22: Monster Jam brings trucks, racing, freestyle, donuts and wheelies in a three-day run.
▪ Jan. 27 to 29: PBR: Built Ford Tough Series
▪ Feb. 11: Musical duo Twenty One Pilots is scheduled to perform.
▪ Feb. 28: Rock group Bon Jovi, as part of the This House Is Not For Sale tour, is scheduled to perform.
▪ March 17 to 19: First- and second-round men’s games in the 2017 NCAA Tournament will be held in the new arena.
▪ March 26: Grammy-nominated singer and perennial MTV favorite Ariana Grande, part of “The Dangerous Woman Tour,” is scheduled to perform.
▪ March 30: Country music artist Eric Church, as part of the “Holdin’ My Own Tour,” is scheduled to perform.
▪ June: The Green Sports Alliance will host its seventh annual summit focused on environmental standards for sports facilities.
▪ July 28: Country superstars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, part of the 2017 Soul 2 Soul tour, are scheduled to perform.
▪ 2017, 2018: The arena will host the 2017 and 2018 California Interscholastic Federation high school basketball state finals.
SLEEP TRAIN ARENA
▪ A 3 p.m. matinee of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus marked the final performance ever at Sleep Train Arena.
▪ While circus marked the final ticketed performance event for the arena, the building will host a handful of graduation ceremonies.
▪ Beyond that, it’s still being determined if Sleep Train Arena will have a final date with a wrecking ball or be transformed for some other kind of use. Numerous proposals have already come in from developers.
▪ The funky, crowded, loud little arena in North Natomas hosted its final National Basketball Association game after 28 seasons.
NEAR THE ARENA
▪ The Kings renamed 44-year-old shopping mall back in September of 2015. The Downtown Commons brand, which the team is shortening to “DoCo,” reflects the Kings’ attempts to breathe new life into the entire plaza area, not just the southeast corner of the site where the arena was built.
▪ Like many things, DoCo was the subject of both praise and mockery on social media after the name was revealed.
▪ A 16-story hotel and condominium tower – while still under construction – offer a glimpse of the new vision taking shape on land that for the last 45 years housed the Downtown Plaza shopping center. The hotel tower will debut next spring. Work on the rest of the district is expected to wrap up next summer.
▪ The 45 condo units atop the hotel tower represent just a fraction of the 500 housing units approved by the city for the plaza redevelopment.
▪ There is some housing planned just outside DoCo, including 137 rental units under construction in a mixed-use project on the 700 block of K Street. The Kings themselves, who have rights to redevelop K Street’s blighted 800 block, are in discussions with the city on a 180-unit housing project.
▪ DoCo could host 25 retailers and 20 food and entertainment establishments by the time the project is completed.
▪ Macy’s is pouring money into a facelift of the building’s exterior, even as it closes dozens of stores elsewhere to shift its attention to online retailing.
▪ On the south side of the 700 block, developers Bay Miry and Ali Youssefi’s development includes 137 apartments, which will be home to approximately 225 new residents.
▪ Cinemark Holdings Inc.’s Century movie theater complex in the northwest corner of the plaza, which closed in January, will open next January following a remodel. The complex is adding two more screens, for a total of nine.
▪ More than 30 new restaurants and bars are expected to open on K Street Mall and its adjacent areas by the time the arena wraps up its first full year of operation in 2017.
▪ Plans call for the D.O. Mills Bank Building at Seventh and J streets to be transformed into a “culinary concourse” with 10 vendors and fashioned as the local equivalent of Napa’s Oxbow Market.
▪ With a downtown arena on the rise and plans afoot for more housing and offices, some downtown Sacramento leaders say the timing is right for makeovers of two underused downtown public spaces, stately but dull Capitol Mall and nearby Crocker Park.
▪ The first downtown housing project of the arena era opened on the K Street Mall, with 21 upscale apartments aimed squarely at urban pioneers willing to pay premium prices to live in the center of the action.
▪ Co-chairs of the long-running Jewish Food Faire in Carmichael have secured a prime space near the new arena for a planned delicatessen.
▪ Estelle’s Patisserie, a bakery at 9th and K streets, announced it’s moving to a space next to the arena and the Sawyer.
▪ Punch Bowl Social, a venue inside the hotel tower, will be a literal indoor playground, mixing food and drink with bowling, karaoke, foosball, skee ball, trivia games, checkers and chess, a dart lounge and more.
▪ Sauced, a small Bay Area barbecue restaurant chain, is expected to open this fall at the eastern end of DoCo in the old Hard Rock Cafe property.
▪ The long-vacant Assembly Music Hall is scheduled to transform into a Boiling Crab seafood restaurant by this fall.
▪ Popbar, a dessert shop that which specializes in gelato on a stick, is expected to open in the fall in Downtown Commons.
▪ State Fare Kitchen and Bar, a a 6,000-square-foot American-style pub originally titled Pour Society, will open later in 2017 west of the arena near Macy’s.
▪ Additional restaurants will be found on the south side of downtown near the arena at 555 Capitol Mall, which is poised to open three to four food-drink destinations, including a new cafe run by Old Soul Co., a full-service restaurant and possibly a bakery.
▪ Oblivion Comics & Coffee will open later this year in the M.A.Y. Building.
▪ The Sutter Capital Group development company is marketing a large space at 11th and K streets – the former Pyramid Ale House – as a likely site for an upscale restaurant, or perhaps two smaller restaurants.
▪ On the south side of the 700 block, developers Bay Miry and Ali Youssefi are building out spaces for up to 15 new businesses that are scheduled to open by the end of 2017. Of those new spots, seven to nine are expected to operate as food or drink vendors, including businesses run by the owners of Red Rabbit, Insight Coffee and Kru/Fish Face.
▪ Whired Wine, a wine bar with small-plate food items, already has staked its claim, opening at 410 L St. in February.
▪ Irish pub-styled Malt & Mash opened on the ground floor of the historic Oschner Building.
▪ El Rey taqueria opened on the ground floor of the historic Oschner Building.
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