Inside Golden 1 Center's high-tech wonders

Sacramento's new arena reflects Chairman Vivek Ranadive's background as a high-technology executive.
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Sacramento's new arena reflects Chairman Vivek Ranadive's background as a high-technology executive.
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Arena

Golden 1 sound system will bring court action to fans seated far away

By Dale Kasler

dkasler@sacbee.com

September 27, 2016 01:17 PM

Talk about attention to detail.

Amid the world’s largest video scoreboard, the farm-to-fork cuisine and a slew of other amenities, the Sacramento Kings also found a way to allow fans far removed from the action at Golden 1 Center to hear what it sounds like down below.

Kings Chairman Vivek Ranadive, leading a media tour Tuesday of the about-to-open downtown arena, said fans in the luxury suites and lofts, which sit at roughly the midway point of the arena, will have the courtside action piped into their seating areas. Lofts are miniature versions of suites.

“The only thing missing was the squeak of the sneakers,” said Ranadive, a Silicon Valley software executive whose obsession with technology and details shows up throughout the $557 million building.

Team President Chris Granger said the Kings are placing microphones along the court to pick up the sounds of the game. “There will be a sound channel in your suite or in your loft and you can tune in,” he said.

The tour revealed a multitude of details, great and small, about the building, which opens Oct. 4 with a Paul McCartney concert. Executive Chef Michael Tuohy said the building will go through 800 pounds of chicken tenders on game nights, as well as “thousands of pounds” of hot dogs.

Granger said the arena’s sound system “is the same sound system they use at the Grammys,” and will be a huge upgrade over Sleep Train Arena.

The Kings said they plan to keep the arena’s hangar doors open during the open practice Saturday afternoon, weather permitting, although they still haven’t decided when to keep the doors open during a paid event. The Kings hope to allow fans to watch a show or game from outside on the plaza.

Granger said the team has to work out the details with the NBA before the 40-foot-high doors, one of the signature features of the arena, can stay open during a game. The first regular season home game will be Oct. 27 against the San Antonio Spurs.

“It’s all about humidity control, wind control, temperature control,” said Tim Romani of Icon Venue Group, the Denver development company that served as project manager for the construction and design of Golden 1.

Juan Rodriguez, the arena’s general manager, said bookings of concerts and other events are exceeding expectations so far. “There’s an enormous amount of interest in Sacramento and the building (from promoters),” he said.

The hangar doors fit another goal: to bring the atmosphere of greater Sacramento indoors. “We’ve brought nature into this building,” said arena architect Rob Rothblatt, of Los Angeles design firm AECOM. The idea is to allow a gentle evening breeze to blow inside the arena and “evoke the Delta and the idea of what happens here in Sacramento,” he said.

Sacramento Kings season ticket holders tour Golden 1 Center on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016.

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Dale Kasler: 916-321-1066, @dakasler