The Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. ©2016 Robb Williamson / AECOM.



Golden 1 Center, the new home of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, includes a seating bowl with general and premium seating, luxury and loft-style suites, standing viewing areas, a practice court and an outdoor courtyard and terrace. Designed to accommodate 17,500 spectators for NBA games, with the flexibility to expand to up to 19,000, the LEED Platinum venue can be configured for other sports as well as concerts, conferences, conventions, trade shows and other specialty events.

The Structure
The 780,000-square-foot arena features high roof trusses that measure 394 feet by 342 feet, including two primary queen-post box trusses that have a total truss depth of 55 feet at mid-span. Thornton Tomasetti’s scope also included the design of a repetitive, bent ladder-type framing system for the façade. Because the floors of the arena are set back from the façade, the ladders are supported from a ring beam bracketed outside the building columns at the loft level and clear-span to the roof.

A number of architectural features presented challenges to the structural design of the lateral system. The generally open floor plan, wide concourse corridors and narrow suite- and loft-level floor plates all provided limited opportunities to locate lateral force-resisting elements. To address this, our engineers used buckling-restrained brace frames (BRBFs) for the upper bowl structure to reduce the seismic demand and limit the number of braced frames required. The lower bowl sub-structure lateral system consists of special reinforced concrete shear walls located along the event-level corridor walls.

A Grand Entrance Welcomes Fans
A grand entrance with five aircraft hangar doors is supported by sloped entry columns. The doors fold vertically to tuck under the low roof soffit. Three of the doors remain partially bent, or kinked, while in the closed position, which required a custom door design from the manufacturer, to blend in with the pattern of the exterior cladding. At the grand entrance, the upper concourse and suite floors narrow to form a thin strip of bridges that connect to each side of the upper bowl. These bridges provide a gathering place with views of the court and, when the doors are opened, vistas of the surrounding neighborhood.

Built on an Accelerated Schedule
To meet the proposed 22-month erection schedule, the design and construction team employed a fast-track, early procurement approach. Under this design assist delivery approach, professionals from Thornton Tomasetti’s Structural Engineering and Construction Engineering practices worked closely with the contractor, fabricator and detailer during completion of the design. This allowed for the ordering of steel, detailing and fabrication to take place before the completion and permitting of the project. The design and construction team effectively utilized building information modeling, including Tekla steel 3D model review, to help meet the tight schedule.

Sacramento Entertainment and Sports Complex (ESC), NBA, Kings, kinetic, movable, kinetics, moveable
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With hundreds of sports projects in our portfolio, we have the experience and expertise to tackle any project, anywhere in the world. Baseball, football, soccer, basketball, hockey, softball, cricket and tennis, along with track and field, aquatics and equestrian sports facilities – we’ve done them. And we’ve collaborated with the world’s premier architects and design teams, building strong relationships to deliver great projects.

Structure plays a more visible role in sports facilities than in almost any other building type. The distinctive visual identity of a stadium or arena is often expressed through the exposed structure: the soaring, seemingly weightless shape of a canopy or the different configurations of a retractable roof or movable exterior wall. The structural system must also support a first-class patron experience and deliver maximum efficiency and economy. Our structural engineers seek out creative structural design solutions that offer an optimal balance for the seemingly incompatible goals of economics, aesthetics and function.