New Sacramento Kings arena hailed for transgender-friendly restrooms

The door to one of 23 transgender restrooms at Golden 1 Center.
The door to one of 23 transgender restrooms at Golden 1 Center. Sacramento Kings

Golden 1 Center has another feature apparently not found at other sports arenas: transgender-friendly restrooms.

The new Sacramento Kings arena includes 23 single-occupancy restrooms that have been labeled “all gender.”

In addition, a team spokesman said Wednesday that fans may use whichever of the multi-occupancy restrooms correlates to their gender identity. There are 54 multiple-occupancy restrooms in the building.

Transgender-rights advocates said they believe Golden 1 is the world’s first sports arena to offer all-gender restrooms. Although family-friendly restrooms have been around for years, allowing either parent to enter with a young child, transgender advocates said Golden 1’s accommodations make a statement about the Kings’ desire for inclusiveness.

“The Sacramento Kings are leading not only the NBA, but sports worldwide in building the first arena to ensure transgender fans are fully respected and welcomed,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California.

The Kings “wanted to ensure the very best fan experience for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said team Chairman Vivek Ranadive in a prepared statement.

Transgender restrooms have become a hot political issue that’s spilled over to the sports world. The NBA pulled the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte after North Carolina lawmakers passed the so-called “bathroom bill,” which struck down local measures protecting gays, lesbians and transgender people.

Golden 1 opens Saturday with a free open house and fan festival. The first paid event is the Paul McCartney concert next Tuesday.

Sacramento Kings season ticket holders tour Golden 1 Center on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016.

Dale Kasler: 916-321-1066, @dakasler

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