On October 1st my daughter and I were among an estimated 100,000 people who attended the free Golden 1 Center “Open House”. We were all there to check out the new $557 million home of the Sacramento Kings.
In fact, now that I think about it, my daughter and I were paid to attend! As members of the Golden 1 Credit Union we each received a $10 food voucher which we utilized after our self-guided tour.
I was a bit concerned about parking, so I had reserved a parking space in a nearby City of Sacramento parking garage via www.SacPark.org. The City has upgraded its parking garages so that one can pay in advance and be assured of a parking spot. I made my reservation online and printed out my confirmation with bar code. The bar code was scanned going into the garage and when we left. It was all very simple and easy.
I thought about parking at the State garage in the Handle District for $2, but I was concerned that we would not have enough time to walk to the Golden 1 Center before our scheduled 10:00 a.m. entry time. Check out my review of Saddle Rock Restaurant for more information on that particular parking garage.
Golden 1 Center Building
I had viewed the Golden 1 Center as it was being constructed, and I had looked over both renderings and pictures of the completed building. After seeing the building and its surroundings in person my take is – I really like it.
The silvery aluminum “skin” of the building juts in and out and is imprinted with designs in the shape of leaves. This design adds visual interest and is very appropriate as Sacramento is also known as the City of Trees.
The glass panels let in a lot of natural light. The lower outside walls of the building are “planted” with a variety of green plants which I thought very attractive. The plants also help “soften” the look of the building.
One of the unique features of the Golden 1 Center is the five huge 40-foot high hangar doors situated above the entrance. The intent behind the doors is to allow the Delta Breeze, when the doors are open, to cool the building. The hangar doors over the main entrance were open during the Open House so we could look down on the surrounding plaza.
In the same vicinity as the hanger doors is where you will find the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Ale House. I predict that the Ale House will be a very popular place to congregate and watch the game.
As we strolled around taking in the sights I could not help but notice that there were restrooms conveniently located throughout the building. I later learned that Golden 1 Center has 54 multiple-occupancy restrooms and 23 single-occupancy restrooms.
As someone who has attended events in older sports venues in the past where restrooms for women seemed a second thought all I can say is – good job and thank you!
State of Art Facility
The Golden 1 Center is state of art – and then some! As you enter the arena you can’t miss what is (for now at least) the world’s largest video screen.
The building also features the latest in broadband and wireless technology. The arena’s sound system is reportedly the same sound system as that in use at the Grammys.
A Golden 1 Center app has been released that will help fans to navigate the arena, including finding their seats. The app will allow fans to order food to be delivered to their seats, and provide data on which concession stands and restrooms have the shortest lines.
While attending a game, fans will also be able to use their phones and tablets to view real-time game statistics and to watch replays and live action from various angles.
On top of that the app can help fans get to and from the arena – connecting them with the Uber ride-sharing service or the purchase of a parking spot in advance of the event.
I would be remiss if I did not also mention that the Golden 1 Center is the first entirely solar-powered arena in the world and has been certified by the United States Green Building Council as LEED Platinum – the highest level of global recognition.
Like I said – state of art!
My daughter and I were very interested to see the vintage neon signs from historic Sacramento businesses that had been refurbished and installed in the Golden 1 Center.
My daughter, like so many other young adults in Sacramento, had worked at both Tower Records and Tower Books (on Broadway) before the demise of the business. The Tower Records neon sign on display is from the store on Watt Avenue.
Also on display are neon signs from businesses many long-time Sacramento residents remember fondly – Shakey’s Pizza, Coronet Portraits, Franke’s Pharmacy, Newbert Hardware and Sleeper Stamp & Stationary.
More recent Sacramento residents may not realize that the first Shakeys Pizza, the old coast-to-coast restaurant chain, was located in East Sacramento. The neon sign displayed at the Golden 1 Center is the original sign from the East Sacramento location.
In years past I had patronized both Franke’s Pharmacy in East Sacramento and Newbert Hardware in Midtown Sacramento. They closed their doors in 1991 and 1993 respectively.
Thousands of Sacramento school students had their yearbook pictures taken at Coronet Portraits which closed in 2000. And, while I don’t remember ever patronizing Sleeper Stamp and Stationary, which closed in 1994, I do recall seeing their neon sign.
Recognizing the importance of Sacramento’s status as the Farm-to-Fork Capital, the Executive Chef of the Golden 1 Center has committed to sourcing 90% of the food ingredients used within a 150-mile radius. Additionally, the majority of the beer, wine and spirits will also be sourced from the same 150-mile radius.
As we walked around inside of the arena, we took note of the local restaurants in the lineup of food offerings including: Block Butcher Bar, Café Bernardo, Mulvaney’s B & L, Paragary’s, Centro, Lowbrau, Mikuni Sushi, Selland’s, Star Ginger and Petra Greek.
It was approaching lunchtime when we decided to use our $10 food vouchers. We first headed to Star Ginger for the $10 Banh Mi sandwich only to discover that Star Ginger had run out of food.
We then headed over to Centro for their $10 street tacos. Centro’s had lines of patrons on every side and we had an extremely long wait – but then we were not in any particular hurry.
We both commented that it was only to be expected that there would be a learning curve for new employees – not to mention the challenges caused by the size of the crowd.
Note: If you are attending a game there are large screens in the concourse area so that you can catch the action when you are away from your seat.
Once we received our street taco’s we made our way to the padded seats in the adjacent arena to eat our lunch prior to leaving the facility. Many of the other open house attendees were doing the same.
All in all – I am really excited about the Golden 1 Center. While I am not a Sacramento Kings season ticket holder, I fully expect that Sacramento will move up in the ranks as a venue for top entertainment acts in the future.
Question(s): What is your opinion of the Golden 1 Center? What details can you add to my description of the facility? Did you attend the Paul McCarthy concert? What is your opinion of the sound system and acoustics?
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