It’s official. The building formerly known as Arco Arena, Sleep Train Arena and Power Balance Pavilion is going to become a surge hospital during the current outbreak of the coronavirus.
“California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services announced plans for the California Department of Public Health, in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to convert the Natomas arena and practice facility into a surge field hospital to provide critical medical services for coronavirus and trauma care patients,” the team’s press release said on Friday.
Army Corps of Engineer Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite mentioned the possibility of converting Sleep Train into a 360-bed hospital earlier in the week. It now appears that the plan will go into full effect.
"These days, our state’s soaring spirit is on full display – with Californians from every walk of life standing together, even while staying at home,” Governor Newsom said. “The State of California is working with the Kings to repurpose the team's former home to help treat COVID-19 patients and meet the coming surge in demand for hospital space. This facility, which for decades brought joy to the lives of Californians, will now be in the business of saving lives. I applaud the Kings and all the federal, state and local officials who worked in concert to make it happen.”
In addition to working with the state and federal government on the use of the Natomas property, the Kings also pledged $250,000 to support local community organizations taxed by the current pandemic, as well as 100,000 medical masks to state and city health agencies.
“On behalf of the entire Kings family, our hearts are with all who have been affected by this pandemic,” Sacramento Kings Chairman, CEO and Owner Vivek Ranadivé said via the press release. “California always leads the nation and the world, and we applaud Governor Newsom’s strong and decisive leadership to keep Californians healthy and safe during this crisis. His deft guidance and preparation serve as a shining example for leaders across America. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the medical professionals and frontline workers risking their lives every day and making tremendous sacrifices to protect us and provide essential services. Our deepest thanks go out to all of the local public health experts and elected officials, including Mayor Steinberg and Councilmember Ashby, working to safeguard the community during this unprecedented time.
“Our community has always come first, and that is more important now than ever,” Ranadivé added. “The Kings are proud to help by providing additional space to accommodate a predicted surge in patients. We are also donating masks to help keep people healthy, and critical resources to area organizations that are addressing food insecurity and other issues as a result of the coronavirus. I have always been in awe of the resilience and ingenuity of the American people and firmly believe that together, we will defeat this invisible enemy.”
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The Arco property has gone mostly unused since the team moved to Golden 1 Center before the 2015-16 season. The practice facility currently is used by the team's G League affiliate, the Stockton Kings, but like the NBA, the G League is on hiatus due to COVID-19.
All of this is part of the Kings’ “In this together” initiative.