Cost of Golden 1 Center jumps by millions

Barely a month before opening, the Sacramento Kings continue to pour money into their new downtown arena, bringing the latest estimate of Golden 1 Center’s construction costs to $556.6 million.

The estimate has risen by $21.7 million in just a month, according to a construction consultant’s report submitted to Sacramento city officials late last week. The $556.6 million price represents a more than $79 million increase since the Kings broke ground in October 2014 on what was envisioned as a $477 million project. When the arena was first proposed to city officials in 2013, Kings officials said it would cost $447 million – bringing the total increase in price to around $109 million.

With the city’s subsidy capped at $255 million, all the additional costs are coming out of the pockets of Kings Chairman Vivek Ranadive and the rest of the team’s owners.

The latest estimate was included in a report by the city’s construction consultant, Merritt & Harris.

Kings officials declined comment on the new estimate. But in the past they’ve said the increases aren’t cost overruns. Instead, they represent the costs of design changes implemented since the project was initially proposed.

Building the team’s practice facility downtown, instead of leaving it at the site of the old arena in Natomas, added $30 million alone. Millions more 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. Some of the added costs represent dollars spent renovating the former Downtown Plaza, now known as Downtown Commons.

“What we have done is we have increased, by choice, the amount we are putting into the building to improve the fan experience, mainly in and around technology,” Kings President Chris Granger said earlier this year.

The building is scheduled to open with a pair of Paul McCartney concerts Oct. 4 and 5.

Dale Kasler: 916-321-1066, @dakasler

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