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Best of 2016: #3, Golden 1 Center Opens

Golden-1 night

We end 2016 with a countdown of the 10 biggest stories of the year on Arena Digest, as chosen by editors and partially based on page views. Today, #3: The Golden 1 Center shines in its debut season.

Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center may have only opened on September 30, but it’s already seen its share of headlines. The arena has already hosted Sacramento Kings’ games, UFC fights, and several concerts including Kanye West’s infamous two-song set and rant that led to him being hospitalized. With a price tag of an estimated $558.2 million, the project looks to be a smashing success.

As I wrote back in July, two main goals for the arena were technology and sustainability, which Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé has come through on. The arena has Internet connections estimated to be 17,000 times faster than if you were at home. The 4K Ultra HD video board has a four-screen display that totals more than 32 million pixels and is seven times larger than the team’s previous video board.

Golden 1 Center

The team partnered with Xfinity and launched a mobile app in September. According to, the app gives fans access to real-time information about features regarding every aspect of their visit from parking to lines and game metrics. There are more than 30 integrations on the app with it running 1,500 automations per game across 10 unique application program interfaces. The app also works for Golden 1 Center events that lets users track set lists for upcoming concerts and show announcements.

In addition to the app, reports that the team partnered with Xperiel in December to launch a gaming platform. It’s called Call The Shot and fans can make predictions about the game and collect points based on wagers whether they are at the game or watching it from the comfort of their own homes around the world. The platform is built into the Kings’ new app.

With all of these advancements, it’s no surprise that named the Sacramento Kings the most tech-savvy sports team in 2016. Ranadivé plans on speaking about the team’s technology at several technology conferences including CES in January and SXSW in March.

Another goal was sustainability. As our Kevin Reichard wrote in September, the Golden 1 Center received the LEED Platinum Certification that it was seeking. To reach this designation, projects must earn more than 80 points on a scale that evaluates energy management, water efficiency, environmental quality, transportation, materials utilized, etc. It is the first indoor sports arena to achieve this designation and it is in the top three percent of all buildings certified. It is also the first professional sports venue to be completely powered by solar energy and 90 percent of food and beverage concessions are sourced within 150 miles.

In addition to the Golden 1 Center, 1.5 million square feet of additional development including office space, retail space, hotels, and residential units are still undergoing construction. As the Sacramento Bee reported earlier this month, the Kings wanted to open their new boutique hotel in time for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament but the 16-story hotel and condo tower has been delayed twice.  It is part of the estimated $500 million redevelopment of the old Downtown Plaza with many businesses slated to open this summer.

With construction continuing, it will be interesting to see how much downtown Sacramento changes over the next few years and how it revitalizes the city.

Renderings courtesy Sacramento Kings. 

Previously in our Top Ten Stories of 2016 List:

#4: AHL Moves to the West

#5: Seattle’s Arena Debate

#6: New York Islanders

#7: Rogers Place Opening

#8: Arizona Coyotes Pitch New Arena

#9: Quebec City Left out By NHL

#10: D-League Plots Future


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