Sacramento Kings’ Golden 1 Center Arena

Sacramento Kings’ Golden 1 Center Arena


The Sacramento Kings’ Golden 1 Center arena deal involved a complex mix of financial, political, and public opinion factors. A significant portion of the arena’s financing came from public funds, leading to debates over the use of taxpayer money for the benefit of a privately-owned sports team. There were concerns about potential cost overruns and whether the financial projections for the arena’s impact on the local economy were overly optimistic. The deal required approval from local government officials, which was not straightforward due to differing opinions on the use of public funds and the arena’s proposed location. The arena deal faced several legal challenges, including lawsuits aimed at blocking the use of public funds for the project and questioning the environmental review process. While there was strong support from some community members and businesses hoping for economic revitalization, there was also significant opposition from others who were concerned about the use of public funds and potential negative impacts on the local community. The deal faced threats of being put to a public referendum, which could have delayed or derailed the project entirely.

Strategic Thinking

Understanding the importance of public support, I Street Public Affairs partner, Josh Wood led a team along with the Kings and city officials to launch extensive public engagement initiatives. They organized town hall meetings, public forums, and interactive sessions to educate the community about the benefits of the new arena, addressing concerns directly and gathering feedback to refine their proposals.
Josh and his team strategically negotiated with various stakeholders, including local businesses, environmental groups, and community leaders, to garner support. These negotiations often led to compromises, such as enhancements to local infrastructure and commitments to environmental sustainability, which helped to sway public opinion in favor of the project. To counteract skepticism about the economic benefits of the arena, the team commissioned detailed economic impact studies. These studies highlighted the potential for job creation, increased tourism, and long-term economic growth, providing a solid foundation for arguing the case for public investment.
These challenges necessitated extensive negotiations and modifications to the original proposals to address financial concerns, overcome political hurdles, and sway public opinion in favor of the project.


Ultimately the project was approved and built. The Golden 1 Center not only serves as a state-of-the-art arena for the Sacramento Kings but also as a centerpiece for urban revitalization, community development, and environmental sustainability in Sacramento. The Golden 1 Center has been a catalyst for economic growth, driving both direct and indirect economic benefits. By hosting events year-round, it has significantly increased foot traffic and spending in the downtown area, benefiting local businesses. It has enriched Sacramento’s cultural landscape and bolstered civic pride among residents.

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Sacramento, CA 95811