Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive cut the ribbon on Golden 1 Center on Friday as Mayor Kevin Johnson declared the official opening of the new Kings arena “Sacramento’s finest hour.”
At a gala celebration attended by hundreds of community leaders, elected officials and Kings owners, the $557 million downtown building was declared open for business.
Accompanied by former NBA Commissioner David Stern, top Kings officials and others, Ranadive snipped a giant yellow ribbon at the conclusion of a 45-minute ceremony. The mayor held the oversized scissors over his head and confetti was shot out of cannons, showering the audience gathered on the plaza outside the arena.
“This is your new home,” said Ranadive.
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The event was a celebration and a remembrance of how Sacramento nearly lost the Kings to Seattle, Anaheim and other cities.
“This moment was not supposed to happen,” Johnson said.
Stern recalled navigating Sacramento’s often treacherous political waters over the past two decades, saying, “I know everything about Sacramento.”
Among those in attendance was former owner Gregg Lukenbill, who brought the Kings to Sacramento from Kansas City in 1985. Lukenbill built the team’s first two arenas in Natomas but said he doesn’t regret their demise.
“It’s like we’ve graduated,” he said in an interview.
Artist Jeff Koons celebrates with local dignitaries as his colorful $8 million art piece is revealed to a cheering crowd of supporters on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016 in Sacramento. Randy PenchThe Sacramento Bee
Open house at Golden 1 Center
The Kings will hold a free open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Golden 1 Center. Tickets can be reserved for free at www.ticketmaster.com/event/1C005127F964EDBE?r=Tix_G1CTix_OH_1001_O.