The Linchpin

Posted on November 16, 2016

At the center of Sacramento’s renaissance, the new arena stands as the result of vision and innovation by a number of forward-thinkers.

If you ever saw the Sci-Fi classic, "The Day the Earth Stood Still," you’ll recall the unforgettable, incongruent image of an interplanetary mother ship sitting in the middle of a park in Washington, D.C. 

You may experience déjà vu the first time you look at the new Golden 1 Center in the middle of downtown Sacramento. It simultaneously looks as though it landed here and also as if it sprang up, organically, from a dreamscape of modern and classical architectural styles, an instant centerpiece for a city that suffered self-esteem problems for decades.

Inside, the center is no less a cause of wonderment. You can walk the perimeter of the building, pause at a food stand and never have to miss the action down on the floor. The term “sight line” doesn’t even apply because that would suggest there are at least some obstructions to your view. Not in this building. And if the sheer distance from the court when you’re cruising one of the concourses makes you think of squinting, don’t bother: The center boasts—in addition to 700 or so video screens throughout the building—a 94-foot-long, 4K resolution, four-sided, ultra high-def TV monitor that will be visible, as Chief Technology Officer Ryan Montoya says, “from every conceivable seat, food stand and aisle.”

This is a sports and entertainment complex, and while the visionary owner of the Kings, Vivek Ranadivé, wants every game to provide a spectacle, Golden 1 Center will also be a venue for concerts. The opening two shows, starring rock legend Paul McCartney, certainly sets the bar astronomically high. This will also be the temporary home for large-scale traveling shows (such as “Disney On Ice”) and even religious conventions, whose attendees may well fill the 17,500 seats.

Golden 1 Center is the miracle that almost didn’t happen. But as you’ll discover in these pages, enough political, business and civic leaders—as well as sports fans who remained ferociously loyal to not only a basketball team but also to the very idea of a unifying, community focal point—thought that a miracle was within its reach. 

Welcome to that miracle. The future starts right now.