Kings' Golden 1 Center era begins with glowing reviews, plenty of firsts

Kings' Golden 1 Center era begins with glowing reviews, plenty of firsts

Building a throne for a sports franchise is more expensive than ever, even if your are the Kings. But the early reviews of the recently-opened $560-million Golden 1 Center are glowing...

"Most Technologically Advanced Arena in the World"
-- NY Times

"The Highest-Tech Stadium in Sports is Pretty Much a Giant Tesla"

"The Kings New Arena was Designed with Sacramento in Mind"
---Sports Illustrated

Vivek Ranadive' ownership group have decreed firsts, biggests and bests in three major areas with the Golden 1 Center...

Design: First ever indoor-outdoor arena of its kind
Solar: The first 100-percent solar-powered arena
Sustainability: First LEED Platinum professional sports venue in the world with 100,000 people within walking distance of the arena
Jumobtron: First ever 4K ultra HD board in the NBA; largest in the NBA at 84 feet in length
Connectivity: World’s most connected sports and entertainment venue with two Ethernet dedicated internet circuits, each with a capacity of 100 gigabits

Fan App: First of its kind as a dual-mode Kings and Golden 1 Center app; first sports app to utilize a chat-bot style artificial intelligence user interface
Staying Connected: More than 1,000 next generation Wi-Fi access points; one million square feet of Wi-Fi cellular coverage

I haven’t been to the arena yet, but I asked one of my colleagues who knows Sacramento and Kings history to give me his first person experience:

"What is so striking about the new Golden 1 Center in downtown is its inclusiveness. When you are outside the building you are included into the setting by huge and welcoming floor-to-ceiling doors that allow you to see into the arena from the spacious outside concourse. While outside you can enjoy the event, be it a game or a concert, on the large 4K screens that can be seen from outside the entrance. Once inside, you are you drawn into the action before you even arrive at your seat by the openness of the interior concourse that runs around the arena. At no time are you blocked from the action. You have a clear view of the entire arena from above as you head toward your seat or to a concession area.

"It will also serve as a re-birth for the downtown community. K Street, also known as The Kay, is vibrant with new development that includes restaurants and entertainment. The development is spreading like a wave throughout the downtown area with new livable dwellings, hotels and retail that will further improve downtown. The number of cranes overhead and construction sites around show just how valuable the new Golden 1 Center will be to the area."


The point man for this come-from-behind victory for Kings fans happened to be a former NBA All-Star point guard who knew how to weave through the complicated bureaucratic traffic of big time pro sports politics. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson used his last-second heroics, persuasive powers and ability to leap tall new arena challenges in a single bound to save the day and the franchise. 

Northern California is chock full of sports and entertainment competition with the Warriors, Giants, A’s, 49ers, Raiders, Sharks, Earthquakes along with Cal, Stanford and a multiplicity of other sports and active outdoor activities. Expansion of the Kings' kingdom will take some time. The venue explosion in the market will see the Warrior’s Chase Center with a planned Mission Bay opening in 2019 and who knows what will happen with the Raiders and A’s in Oakland. Sacramento Republic FC is a leading candidate for MLS expansion along with a new place to play in the Kings' hood.

No matter how much steel, glass, technology, sustainability, connectivity, gourmet food, video magic, planning and logic go into a new arena, properly injecting heart and soul into a new sports venue is the ultimate challenge for team owners and management. Fans may fall in love with a new facility as they have with AT&T Park or the jury may be out with questions about Levi’s Stadium. It takes time for a sports venue to mature because the most important part of the equation is the fan base that fills the seats -- their time, their money, their passion for their team.

The credit union Golden 1 will pay the Kings $120 million over 20 years. 

Although its 17,500-person capacity makes the Golden 1 Center one of the NBA's smallest, the new arena includes 34 suites and 48 mini-suites. About 14 percent of the seats are premium seats, which is in line with NBA standards.


King’s owner Vivek Ranadive has called Golden 1 the "Tesla of Arenas." The only drawback with this analogy is when you lose the initial exciting charge you have to find a place to plug in when the needle points to "feed me."

Carter passes Ewing on all-time scoring list


Carter passes Ewing on all-time scoring list

SACRAMENTO -- Moving on up. Vince Carter came into Monday evening’s matchup against the Detroit Pistons needing just five points to surpass Patrick Ewing for 22nd place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. He got that and a little more.

Carter, 41, picked off a Pistons pass in the second quarter and hammered down a breakaway dunk to score his first two points of the evening. He knocked down a jumper in the lane before halftime to get within one point of Ewing and then moved ahead of the 7-footer with a 3-pointer in the third quarter.

The 20-year NBA veteran now sits at 24,817 points. He is 375 points behind the great Jerry West’s 25,192, who currently sits in 21st place on the all-time list.

Joerger faces tough decision with Bogdanovic out vs Pistons


Joerger faces tough decision with Bogdanovic out vs Pistons

SACRAMENTO -- It’s time for some home cooking. The Sacramento Kings open a six-game homestand Monday night at Golden 1 Center. They’ll host a struggling Detroit Pistons team that has lost three straight and seven of their last eight.

The Kings battled the Utah Jazz all the way down the wire Saturday evening at Vivint Smart Home Arena, before falling in the final minute. Buddy Hield put up 20-plus points for his third straight game to lead Sacramento.

Detroit looked like a playoff team for much of the season and then the wheels fell off their bus. They have plenty of talent, but so far, they are struggling to find chemistry since acquiring All-Star Blake Griffin at the deadline.

Pistons by 3.5

Skal Labissiere vs. Blake Griffin -- The Kings have struggled to contain Griffin throughout his career. Whether he starts or not, second-year big Skal Labissiere is likely to see plenty of time against the high-scoring power forward. Labissiere is averaging 11.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 27 minutes a game in March. He needs to move his feet and avoid foul trouble against Griffin.

Kings: 23-48, fourth place in Pacific

Pistons: 30-39, fourth place in Central

Kings: SG Bogdan Bogdanovic (left hamstring soreness) out, SG/SF Iman Shumpert (knee rehab/plantar fasciitis) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out for the season.

Pistons: PG Reggie Jackson (ankle) out, PF Jon Leuer (ankle) out.

Decisions, Decisions -- With Bogdanovic out for the evening, Dave Joerger has a tough choice to make. Does he elevate Hield into the starting lineup and disrupt his bench unit? Or does he start veteran Garrett Temple alongside De’Aaron Fox. Hield has earned a look with the starters, but he’s on fire with the second team.

Keep Fighting -- Plenty of fans want the Kings to lay down and preserve their spot in the NBA’s Draft Lottery. The Kings are trying to build a winning culture around a group of young players. They are developing an identity as the season heads towards its conclusion and there is no reason to let up.

Shoot the 3-ball -- The Kings trail only the Golden State Warriors in 3-point percentage. They hit 14-of-21 from behind the arc against the Jazz, but that’s not enough. The goal should be 30 threes per game from here on out. The team has the shooters, they just need to hoist it up more often.

The Pistons lead the season series 1-0 and are looking for the sweep. Detroit holds a 134-119 advantage over the Kings all-time and a 37-26 edge during the Sacramento-era.