I had the opportunity to tour the new Kings arena under construction. I have to confess I am not generally a fan of new sporting venues, especially when they are subsidized with public funds. I came away very impressed with the design and construction of the arena and how it is oriented to the other buildings on K Street.
The arena will still be sized for our market–one of the smaller arenas in the NBA with 17,500 seats. Two-thirds of those seats will be between the concourse and the floor. There will be a new level of lofts that provide premium seating, but half the size of a full suite. Then the suites will be above the lofts and finally the final one-third of seats. These nosebleed seats still feel close to the floor. The concourse is wider too so perhaps there will not be the kind of traffic jams like I have experienced at Women of Faith when it has taken hours to depart at the end of the evening from Sleep Train Arena.
In my lifetime there have been various attempts to revitalize this stretch of K Street. It appears that this time the investment in the Golden One Center is transforming the entire neighborhood. It is even renamed: “Downtown Commons” or “DoCo” for short.