New Sacramento Kings arena will have small seating capacityPosted by Inside Hoops
Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on the Kings:
The Sacramento Kings are abandoning the arena that has the fewest seats in the NBA. They’re building a new arena … with the fewest seats in the NBA.
The $477 million arena at Downtown Plaza, set to begin construction later this month, will seat just 17,500 fans. That’s fewer than 200 additional seats compared to Sleep Train Arena, which is widely considered outmoded and inadequate for NBA use.
The Kings’ owners say their new building will be more lucrative than Sleep Train through the magic of modern arena design. There will be far more seats in the lower bowl, translating into higher ticket prices. There will be twice as many “premium” seats, including luxury suites and lofts, which will come with VIP perks and be among the most expensive tickets in the house. Those features will more than offset the relatively small total seating capacity, team officials say.
“There will be a massive change in comfort, in amenities, in concessions,” said Kings President Chris Granger, who is overseeing design and construction. “That’s why we’re doing it.”
At 745,000 square feet, including the practice facility, the new arena will be almost 70 percent bigger than Sleep Train.
But why so few seats? The designers are following a less-is-more revolution taking place in sports economics. Spacious arenas with 20,000-plus seats are giving way to cozier buildings that, paradoxically, can generate as much, if not more, profit than the big-box facilities. It’s no coincidence that the newest NBA arena, the 2-year-old Barclays Center in Brooklyn, is currently the league’s smallest with a capacity of 17,732.