NBA: New Sacramento Kings arena will be among NBA’s smallest

July 6, 2014


NBA: New Sacramento Kings arena will be among NBA’s smallest

Sacramento Kings arena

By Dale Kasler and Ryan Lillis
Sacramento Bee

The Sacramento Kings are abandoning an arena that has among the fewest seats in the NBA. They’re building a new arena … also with fewer seats than nearly all other NBA venues.

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.

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, has a capacity of just 17,732.

The beauty of smaller arenas is that they produce more consistent sellouts. Granger said that’s what often drives season ticket sales: the fear of not being able to get a seat.

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Arena City
Franchise Capacity Opened
The Palace of Auburn Hills Auburn Hills, Michigan Detroit Pistons 22,076 1988
United Center Chicago, Illinois Chicago Bulls 20,917 1994
Quicken Loans Arena Cleveland, Ohio Cleveland Cavaliers 20,562 1994
Wells Fargo Center Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Philadelphia 76ers 20,328 1996
Verizon Center Washington, D.C. Washington Wizards 20,290 1997
Moda Center Portland, Oregon Portland Trail Blazers 19,980 1995
EnergySolutions Arena Salt Lake City, Utah Utah Jazz 19,911 1991
Air Canada Centre Toronto, Ontario Toronto Raptors 19,800 1999
Madison Square Garden New York (Manhattan), New York New York Knicks 19,763 1968
American Airlines Arena Miami, Florida Miami Heat 19,600 2000
Oracle Arena Oakland, California Golden State Warriors 19,596 1966
Target Center Minneapolis, Minnesota Minnesota Timberwolves 19,356 1990
American Airlines Center Dallas, Texas Dallas Mavericks 19,200 2001
Pepsi Center Denver, Colorado Denver Nuggets 19,155 1999
Time Warner Cable Arena Charlotte, North Carolina Charlotte Hornets 19,077 2005
Staples Center Los Angeles, California Los Angeles Lakers 18,997 1999
Staples Center Los Angeles, California Los Angeles Clippers 19,060 1999
Amway Center Orlando, Florida Orlando Magic 18,846 2010
BMO Harris Bradley Center Milwaukee, Wisconsin Milwaukee Bucks 18,717 1988
TD Garden Boston, Massachusetts Boston Celtics 18,624 1995
AT&T Center San Antonio, Texas San Antonio Spurs 18,581 2002
US Airways Center Phoenix, Arizona Phoenix Suns 18,422 1992
Chesapeake Energy Arena Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Oklahoma City Thunder 18,203 2002
Bankers Life Fieldhouse Indianapolis, Indiana Indiana Pacers 18,165 1999
FedExForum Memphis, Tennessee Memphis Grizzlies 18,119 2004
Philips Arena Atlanta, Georgia Atlanta Hawks 18,118 1999
Toyota Center Houston, Texas Houston Rockets 18,023 2003
Barclays Center New York (Brooklyn), New York Brooklyn Nets 17,732 2012

Charlotte Coliseum in the 1980s
The Chalotte Coliseum as seen in the late 1980s

The largest home arena in the NBA built for just the NBA was the Charlotte Coliseum, that was home to the Charlotte Hornets. It was home to the Charlotte Hornets 1988–2002 and Charlotte Bobcats (now re-branded Hornets) 2004-2005.
Seating: 24,042
Opened: August 11, 1988
Closed: October 26, 2005
Demolished: June 3, 2007

Future NBA arena: New home for the Golden State Warriors will be located in San Francisco

Video: NBA Golden State Warriors unveil Mission Bay Arena project


May 29, 2014

Seattle group won’t give up on an NBA team, says arena backer

Steven Goldsmith
Puget Sound Business Journal

Even if they have to do it without Steve Ballmer’s billions, backers of bringing a National Basketball Association team to Seattle have not said anything about giving up.

Ballmer is the wealthiest member of a group led by San Francisco investor Chris Hansen — the group also includes Blake and Pete Nordstrom and Wally Walker — that has been buying land and working toward building an arena in Seattle’s Sodo area for professional basketball and hockey.

Even without Ballmer, Robinson said he has received assurances from other members of the ownership group that they will press ahead with seeking an NBA team for Seattle.

In fact, if the former Microsoft CEO does succeed in buying the Clippers, Robinson said, that could have a silver lining for Seattle.

“I’m 100 percent confident that Steve Ballmer will remain an advocate for Seattle basketball,” Robinson said. “I’ll be happy to have that ally in the NBA.”

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