The Sacramento Entertainment and Sports Center—now known as the Golden 1 Center—transformed a dilapidated and underutilized part of downtown Sacramento into a new, vibrant entertainment district that includes a large public plaza, restaurants, local retail shopping, a world-class hotel, and premium office space.
One will not find many EIRs dealing with such a complicated, multi-faceted project that can survive unscathed from court challenges at all three judicial levels. The success of the EIR for the Sacramento Entertainment and Sports Center & Related Development Project is testimony to the outstanding work of ESA and its subconsultants, as well as the support and dedication of City staff.
The project, which replaced a long floundering retail center, now serves as a cohesive and vibrant gathering place for residents, visitors, and the community.
A comprehensive EIR prepared by ESA analyzed the new 779,000-sq. ft., 17,500-seat arena and the 1.5 million square feet of retail, office, hotel, and residential uses within the former Downtown Plaza site. The project also involved authorization to construct six off-site digital signs on City-owned property as well as the transfer of several other development properties from City ownership to the Kings.
The EIR was certified in less than a year, and legal challenges to the report were rejected by the Superior Court and the 3rd District Court of Appeal, and request for review was denied by the Supreme Court. Onsite mitigation monitoring for the entire project site continued beyond the Golden 1 Center’s on-time opening in October 2016, through development of the Downtown Commons area.
Development of new sports arenas and stadiums for major league professional sports teams has been fueled by public-private partnerships, public subsidies, and wealthy team owners looking to have dedicated facilities for their team. Cities across the country are recognizing the benefits that can be reaped by developing an arena in an urban environment.