Inspired by Sacramento Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé’s storied career as a tech entrepreneur and innovator, Golden 1 Center was destined to redefine the fan experience through next-generation technology. By embedding more code than concrete into Golden 1 Center, the Sacramento Kings seek to remove traditional arena barriers, creating a seamless and frictionless guest experience.
Golden 1 Center is home to two 100 gigabits per second broadband lines located in a 6,000-square-foot data center, and connected by over 1,000 miles of Kings purple Ethernet cable. These broadband lines are capable of uploading 500,000 Snapchat photos per second. The robust network design allows for the arena’s 17,600 fans to connect to over 1,000 access points, which is equivalent to 17 fans per access point – unprecedented in professional sports. In doing so, the goal was to keep fans connected with the social world, and learn from their interactions on how to continue to better their overall experience.
With such strong internet connectivity, the Sacramento Kings started a dialogue with their fans through their new Sacramento Kings + Golden 1 Center app. It is through this app that fans can stay connected both inside and outside of the arena. The app enables users to discover the fastest route to the arena, figure out which entrance door’s line is moving the quickest, and even give fans the opportunity to upgrade their seats – all before they even enter the doors.
Once fans arrive, the app allows them to order food and merchandise and have it delivered directly to their seats, check the bathroom line wait times without missing any of the action, and order an Uber ride home following the game. Another way the app keeps fans engaged during the game is a feature that allows them to place fun bets on plays during the game – the first of its kind in the NBA.
“Rather than you having to check into the arena, the arena will just be checking into you,” Ranadivé says. “It should cater to you.”
Golden 1 Center’s “Mission Control” is a dedicated center with 12 arena stakeholders, making decisions in real-time. It serves as the central operating system, focused on creating the ultimate fan experience. In Mission Control, team employees have dozens of television screens that help them to monitor many different aspects of fan experience all at once. From social media posts about the game to traffic, bathroom lines, weather, the energy use, and even security, these employees can watch things unfold firsthand and troubleshoot ways to fix them in real-time. Mission Control then uses the interactions from the fans to discover further ways to enhance the fan experience at each and every event.
Golden 1 Center is also home to the NBA’s only 4K Ultra HD and largest video scoreboard, designed by a Walt Disney Company engineer, which minimizes eye movement and allows fans to see the game and real-time stats all at once. In addition to a massive video scoreboard, the arena utilizes Comhear’s MyBeam™ technology to deliver the sounds of the game into the suites throughout the arena, creating a 360-degree sound experience for fans to feel as though the seats are courtside.
When building the Golden 1 Center, Ranadivé’s vision for the arena was one that was “future proof…[and] not going to be obsolete anytime in the near future.”
And that’s just what the arena strives to do by constantly learning from its interactions with many visitors.