Golden 1 Center

Sacramento, CA

The completion of Golden 1 Center was the last chapter in the unbelievable come-from-behind victory by the City of Sacramento and Kings ownership to keep the team in Sacramento. Located in the heart of downtown Sacramento, the arena is the home of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings and the premier venue for headline events in the region. The project encompasses four city blocks and has proven to be a major catalyst for development in the surrounding area. The indoor multi-use facility hosts sports and top entertainment events such as concerts, ice shows, rodeos, and trade shows. The structure, designed in association with Thornton Tomasetti, boasts large hangar doors that, when open, tie the indoors to the outdoor plaza which extends over the top of the lower arena levels. The plaza serves as a connector between the adjacent mall and hotel, and provides landscaped public spaces for food trucks and other activities before and between arena events.

Quick Facts

  • Size: 780,000 SF
  • Architect: AECOM
  • The arena floor is approximately 20 feet below street level and 10 feet below potential ground water levels
  • Over 14,000 cubic yards of concrete, approximately 9,000 tons of steel, and approximately 1,000 auger cast displacement piles were used on the project. The roof trusses span over 400 feet.
  • Construction Cost: $558,000,000
  • Contractor: Turner Construction Company
  • The Golden 1 Center is the first arena in the world to be certified LEED Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council
  • The design team produced seven phased permit sets in order to start and complete construction within the extremely tight schedule. The project was completed in about half of the time as similar arenas.

Adjacent to, but integrated with, the main arena structure is the Kings’ practice facility, administrative offices, and central utility plant. The Practice Facility was constructed over 2 levels of parking built in the 1970s to assist with achieving the LEED rating and reducing construction cost. Ordinarily, practice gyms are constructed with large roof trusses. For the Kings practice facility, trusses spanning 180 feet serve as the floor support for the physical therapy clinic above, thus requiring them to be flat in their installed condition. Buehler performed a higher order deflection analysis of the gym trusses and specified design camber such that upon construction, the floor of the clinic above is perfectly flat. 


  • 2017 Sports Business Journal – Sports Facility of the Year
  • 2017 Engineering New-Record California - Best Sports/Entertainment Project
  • 2017 Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design – American Architecture Award 
  • 2017 Sacramento Business Journal Best Real Estate Projects - Project of the Year
  • 2017 SEAOC Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards - Award of Excellence (Sustainable Design) 
  • 2017 SEAOCC Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards – Award of Excellence (Landmark Project)
  • 2016 ASCE Region Nine - Outstanding Architectural Project of the Year 
  • 2016 ASCE Sacramento Section - Outstanding Architectural Project of the Year 
  • 2016 Urban Land Institute – Project of the Year
  • 2016 Sports Technology Awards - Best Elite Sports Facility or Venue 

Photo credit: John Swain Photography