Soapbox

Kings are ready to lead volunteer charge for region

Kings President Chris Granger, left, stands with Tower Records founder Russ Solomon after announcing Paul McCartney as the first show at the Golden 1 Center.
Kings President Chris Granger, left, stands with Tower Records founder Russ Solomon after announcing Paul McCartney as the first show at the Golden 1 Center. hamezcua@sacbee.com

At the Sacramento Kings, we believe true success extends far beyond the basketball court. NBA teams are fortunate to enjoy a platform where people look to us as community leaders, activists and role models. We know that at our core, we must be bigger than basketball.

Owner and chairman Vivek Ranadivé’s mission for the Kings is to create a winning franchise that enhances the lives of those we touch, while making our world a better place. We always look for opportunities to do good and unify the Sacramento region.

Friday, we announce the next step in our journey toward building a better Sacramento – an organizationwide commitment to a Lead, Inspire, Flourish and Thrive initiative. In the coming year, Kings employees will give back 10,000 volunteer hours, continuing our tradition of building partnerships with local nonprofits.

As part of LIFT we are launching Kings Give 50, offering every employee the opportunity to do at least 50 volunteer hours a year while paid by the team. On Friday we start our first project at the American River Parkway Foundation, where we will help clean up the river and rebuild a shade structure. Sustainability initiatives such as this are an important part of our role in the community but also central to our business strategy.

As we build our new home, the Golden 1 Center, the highest-tech arena in sports, we are creating an unparalleled experience for our fans, our community and the environment. We’re proud to be the world’s first indoor arena to be 100 percent powered by solar energy. We’re committed to best-in-class sustainability practices, including recycling and drought-resistant landscaping.

This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to develop an arena and an organization that will benefit Sacramentans for decades to come, generating 4,000 permanent jobs and $11.5 billion in economic activity over the next 35 years.

We take nothing more seriously than our responsibility to this community. This is why we are sourcing 90 percent of Golden 1 Center’s concessions within 150 miles of the arena, supporting local producers and reducing our impact on the environment. This is why we work to empower individuals and nonprofits through the Sacramento Kings Foundation. And this is why, through our relationship with Juma, we will put underprivileged high school students to work at the arena, giving them life skills, preparing them for work and mentoring them for higher education.

We’re also calling on all organizations to be inspired by the city around us and join our efforts to unify and strengthen this community. It is our shared responsibility to find ways to benefit all Sacramentans. It can be as simple as building a basketball court, cleaning up our rivers or giving our youth some of our time. All that matters is having the will to innovate and a belief in our collective power to do great things.

Chris Granger is president of the Sacramento Kings. He can be contacted at president@kings.com.

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