Golden 1 Center is just months away from opening its doors to the public for the first time and the venue is booking more than just Sacramento Kings games and rock concerts.
It was announced Monday that the downtown arena will be hosting its first NCAA men’s basketball games in a double-header on Nov. 21. The first game will feature local rivals Sacramento State and UC Davis, while the second game will be Cal-Berkeley vs. San Diego State University.READ MORE: Donations Pour In For Animals At Center Of Olivehurst Animal Cruelty Case
“We’re honored to host student-athletes and fans from four outstanding universities and athletic programs,” said Golden 1 Center General Manager Juan Rodriguez. “Sacramento will be a home to showcase premier college basketball in a world-class venue for years to come.”
The Sac State, UC Davis matchup will be the first time the two have played each other on neutral ground since 1989’s Capitol City Classic at Arco Arena. The two teams play each other four times annually – they split the series last year with both teams winning at home.
“We are very excited to compete in the first ever collegiate basketball game at the Golden 1 Center,” Sacramento State head coach Brian Katz said. “It should be a great atmosphere, and we are looking forward to playing this rivalry game four consecutive years inside the new facility.”
The Hornets had a bit of a rebuild season last year after losing possibly the two best guards in school history, Dylan Garrity and Mikh McKinney . They finished with a 14-17 record in the Big Sky Conference after being eliminated by Montana University.
UC Davis, on the other hand, finished 11-19 last season and was bounced out of the Big West Conference tournament by UC Santa Barbara. They will have five seniors leading the pack this year, as they are also coached by former NBA player and King, Jim Les.READ MORE: Man Convicted In Brutal El Dorado County Domestic Violence Case Faces Life In Prison
Les played in Sacramento for the Kings from 1990-1994 and once led the league in 3-point percentage.
“The Sacramento region is home to some of the best basketball fans in the nation,” said UC Davis Coach Les. “Golden 1 Center will only enhance that reputation and UC Davis is excited to be a part of the first college basketball game in the new arena. Our alums, fans, players, and coaches are all excited for this opportunity and appreciate the Kings organization for inviting us into their new home.”
On top of the local matchup, the game will feature two of some of the best college basketball programs in the nation: Cal and San Diego State.
Both schools made decent runs in the NCAA tournament last season, and will attract many college basketball fans from around the state.
Cal ended up with its highest seed in school history, thanks to their perfect 18-0 home record. Meanwhile, the Aztecs have three starters returning from a successful 28-10 record in 2015-16.
“We are excited and honored to be a part of the opening of Golden 1 Center and to be playing a California team that we have had some great games with over the years,” said SDSU Associate Head Coach/Head Coaching in Waiting Brian Dutcher. “We have always had great support from San Diego State fans in Northern California and look forward to playing in front of a good crowd.”MORE NEWS: Tractor-Trailer Catches Fire Along WB I-80 In Vacaville
Ticket information will be released in early September.