Sacramento Kings May Help Fill More Than Golden 1 Center

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Sacramento Kings may soon be bringing big-name entertainers to take the stage at venues outside the Golden 1 Center.

The Kings owners want to be part of a group operating Sacramento’s Memorial Auditorium, Community Center Theater and Convention Center. The city is seeking help filling the buildings with shows.

CBS13 found Sacramento resident Stephanie Powells sitting outside the Memorial Auditorium waiting for the doors to open for Friday show.

Powells had something few people are purchasing this summer: A ticket to a performance at the Memorial Auditorium. There aren’t that many of them.

In August only four events are publicly posted. And year-round the auditorium is empty often.

“This is probably 50 percent capacity,” Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen said. “So maybe half the year there’s something going on here.”

Hansen wants big name performances to fill up this venue again.

“Memorial Auditorium used to have The Beach Boys and it used to be the venue,” Hansen said. “If this building isn’t used, it’s a tragedy.”

Now Hansen and the council are looking to attract new entertainment to the Memorial Auditorium, Community Center Theater, and the Convention Center by teaming up with the Sacramento Kings, Live Nation, and a company called SMG that operates public facilities. The agreement would aim to fill all the venues up with high profile entertainment acts.

The discussions come just a year after opening their new Golden 1 Center with headline musical acts.

The Kings issued a statement about their new operations bid, reading:

“Downtown’s historic venues will come alive with diverse and leading acts, including artists from our own backyard. And together, we’ll activate the convention center to bring millions of guests to the region while supporting our travel and tourism economy.”

“The Kings have proven that they can handle the logistics of getting people in and out of Sacramento, being great community partners,” Hansen said.

Hansen says the city would make more money than it is now on the venues, by privatizing the operations with lease payments, potentially sharing in profits from the shows that are booked.

Sacramento city staff reviewed three bids for the operation contract and selected the King’s group as the best choice so far.

Next week the Sacramento City Council will decide whether to formally enter talks with a term sheet.

More from Steve Large
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