New Golden 1 Center Is High-Tech On A Massive Scale

Friday, Sep 30, 2016

The $557 million downtown sports arena is on the cusp of its public debut, opening its doors for a media day Tuesday and hosting its first public event — a Paul McCartney concert — next Tuesday.

Amid the state-of-the-art technology is a distinct effort to capture the Sacramento region’s “farm-to-fork” identity — or, in the Kings’ case, “farm-to-fan” —and focus on sustainability.

The Golden 1 Center boasts the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification for a sports arena.

This begins with the building’s exterior, as modern stainless steel panels taper down into a living wall exterior and rising trees that hug the bottom of the arena. Moving inwards, the building features doors reminiscent of an airplane hangar, which give the arena an indoor/outdoor feel.

“It leverages the delta breeze to maintain comfortable temperatures in the arena bowl,” said Alistair MacGregor, vice president of high performance building with AECOM.

Fans who fill the hundreds of rows of neat, gray seats will get to weigh in on their comfort in the arena at the touch of a button, controlling the entire temperature in the bowl through crowdsourcing on a phone app.

“We flipped the whole paradigm of what it means to be in an arena,” said Vivek Ranadivé, owner and chairman of the Sacramento Kings.

This spans the 200 gigabytes of broadband internet pumped into the sports center, the green technology, and behind-the-scenes robotics and control center team that checks for security.

The new stadium also boasts an “urban smart solar” program where planners maximized what they could do on site, while recognizing the limitations of their urban environment. The arena is powered by 700 kilowatts of solar power produced on site and a separate solar farm that produces 11 megawatts through a partnership with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

The arena was also built in a way that uses 1 million less gallons of water per year compared to conventional standards, MacGregor said. This adds up to 40 percent water savings and 25 percent energy savings by the design of the building.

Local flavors dot the center, with regional craft breweries pouring drinks and local restaurants delivering everything from gourmet lamb burgers and wood-fired pizzas to classic arena eats. Visitors can enjoy past familiar dishes like Cafe Bernardo’s burgers and Star Ginger’s Asian fusion flavors.

Up top, the Sierra Nevada Draught House is open to all attendees, using walnut wood decor and warm lighting to create a cozy brew-pub atmosphere amid the gargantuan arena.

“Everything here is sourced in conjunction with our goal of 90 percent of food coming from a 150-mile radius,” said Angela Tassie, vice president of marketing and business development with Legends sports media. That radius stretches from Redding to Fresno and Fort Bragg to Carmel.

Rice used in the arena dishes is grown right outside of Sacramento and wines arrive not just from the Napa Valley, but also from nearby Clarksburg, Dunnigan, Capay Valley, Amador County and Lodi.

Even the chicken tenders come from a poultry farm near Fresno and feature a simple recipe with a buttermilk brine, flour, eggs, and panko bread crumbs.

“It has a handful of ingredients instead of 35,” said executive chef Michael Tuohy.

If the food isn’t all gobbled up, leftovers are sent to nearby biodigester facilities or donated to the Sacramento Food Bank, Tuohy said.

While tickets might cost a pretty penny, locals can test out the new arena themselves soon. Following the McCartney concerts Tuesday and Wednesday are concerts by Maroon 5 and Jimmy Buffett, a WWE match, Disney on Ice and several Sacramento Kings preseason games.

On Nov. 21, the UC Davis and Sacramento State men’s basketball teams will be the first collegiate teams to take the court in a doubleheader that also sees Cal take on Stanford.


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