Nestled amid Downtown Commons, in an entertainment & business district in Sacramento, California, is the Golden 1 Center. The structure is designed by AECOM in collaboration with DZ Architects for the city’s basketball team: The Sacramento Kings, a National Basketball Association Western Conference Pacific Division member. It is an indoor venue, primarily for basketball matches, accommodating up to 19,000 spectators. Additionally, it has forty-eight loft-style well-laid-out suites, thirty-four luxury suites, three exclusive clubs, and two skyboxes, all overlooking the concourse. 

It is the first indoor arena to achieve coveted LEED Platinum Certification by U.S Green Building Council; and one of the most technologically advanced and well-connected venues in the world, rightfully deemed by the NBA Commissioner as ‘The Gold Standard of Arenas.’ This infrastructure enhanced the economy on a regional & local level creating about 4000 permanent positions in its workforce and has hosted 200 community events earning the centre’s national attention.

Design – Context, Planning, Features, Sustainability | Golden 1 Center 

AECOM, through its multidisciplinary and comprehensive approach, implemented innovative solutions in collaboration with the Sacramento Kings. Hence, making this arena one of the most significant landmarks in Sacramento. The distinctive architecture and planning methods implemented in Golden 1 Center transformed the city’s urban fabric, linking the interior and exterior spaces seamlessly. The arena features two open concourses enabling users to view the court from 360 degrees.

Sustainable building façade 

The exterior envelope was fabricated through parametric technology, creating an efficient, aesthetic, and economical façade reflecting Sacramento’s community and team spirit. The façade is passively optimised and this high-performance structure exceeds Code energy performance by more than 30%, making it one of the most energy-efficient infrastructures in the country. 

Golden 1 Center by Aecom - Sheet1
Golden 1 Center’s Façade Idea 1979785: Golden 1 Center by AECOM in Sacramento, United

Sourcing of materials

The design team sourced materials locally, ranging from sands of San Benito, rocks of Sierra limestone, international standard quality wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, recycled aluminium, precast concrete, and glass. 40’ high five aircraft hangar doors open up to create a 150 feet wide space to facilitate interactions with the plaza, external views, and the city breeze. Doors manufactured in Minnesota open the arena to natural cooling during concerts and entertainment events. An edible natural green wall envelope the arena, connecting the space to nature. All of these give a distinct experience to the spectators. 

Golden 1 Center by Aecom - Sheet2
Golden 1 Center’s Interiors Idea 1979779: Golden 1 Center by AECOM in Sacramento, United States

Inspiration from Sacramento

The intersection of all the blue glass orbs in the interiors signifies the city’s convergence of all the rivers. Besides that, another unique feature, deriving inspiration from community spirit in Sacramento, is the recognition and installation of numerous artworks by local artists like Gale Hart, Phil America, and Jeff Koons, who are also internationally recognised.

Golden 1 Center by Aecom - Sheet3
Golden 1 Center’s Interiors: Intersection of the blue orbs Idea

Renewable energy sources

Solar Power Inc’s solar panel on the rooftop, which generates approximately about 1.2 megawatts of power, is supplemented by Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s solar field in the Rancho Seco plant. Thereby; fulfilling the aim of Sacramento Kings to make Golden 1 Center one of the most technologically advanced sustainable sports venues in the United States. The water usage is approximately 45 percent lesser than what is mandated by state code and 30 per cent lesser than stringent baselines set by local guidelines in California. These green measures are an indication of proficient financial investments by the client.  

Technological advancements and community measures | Golden 1 Center 


The main video board, the second largest screen in NBA, measures 84 feet long and is approximately 10 feet shorter than the basketball field, taking over 6100 square feet of space. Main screens are 44 feet wide and 24 feet high, topped by 6 feet tall message boards. Besides that, two 25 feet tall video screens are installed at the main entrance area facing the public plaza, and 600 high-definition displays broadcast the game to other sports enthusiasts gathered in suites, clubs, and concourses. About 1500 feet of LED ribbon boards are installed as well. Free Wi-Fi connections are provided in the Golden 1 Center, which will be further extended in the plaza area.

Golden 1 Center’s Interiors : Basketball stadium Idea 1979784

The two 100-gigabit data pipelines and more than 6,000 square feet of data centre facility are the heartbeats of the most connected venue in the country. Technology is not an afterthought with fan experience assistance innovations ranging from real-me parking and track data delivered inside the Kings app to post-game client interaction, ensuring the game day experience is custom-tailored to each patron’s desires. The Fan First Connected Comfort solutions were crucial in making this the most comfortable arena in the world, giving each person in every seat control over their environment. 

Recycling Measures

Ninety per cent of food and drinks inside the centre are locally sourced from within a 150-mile radius. Additionally, the arena has an innovative recycling program that guarantees that all the food and waste products are returned to the community for recycling.

Conclusion | Golden 1 Center 

Building a sports arena that is advanced in terms of the building fabric and technology is simple. With the available financial investments, AECOM with the client – The Sacramento Kings, coupled with their innovative ideas and solutions to the design problem, were successful in building a public infrastructure that not only reflected the community spirit and sports enthusiasm of the city; and also set a benchmark for the upcoming future sports complexes across the world.


Golden 1 center (2023) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: (Accessed: January 28, 2023). 

Golden 1 Center by Cloud Architects (2017) Architizer. Available at: (Accessed: January 28, 2023). 

The Sacramento kings’ golden 1 center sets a green paradigm (no date). Available at: (Accessed: January 28, 2023). 

Welch, A. (2020) Golden 1 Center Sacramento Building – e-architect, e. Available at: (Accessed: January 28, 2023). 


An aspiring architect and avid bibliophile, Suchita keeps looking out for fresher and innovative sustainable solutions for co-existence with precarious environment and fauna. She has a keen interest in digital technology and is currently exploring writing as a means to express & think beyond the box in architecture & urbanism.