Kings offer virtual experience with arena designs

Oculus Rift, augmented reality - it's all there at the Kings' new arena "Experience Center."

The Sacramento City Council voted 7-2 in favor of the arena deal with the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday and the team is rolling out more concepts for the downtown facility, but in a unique way.

The Kings have opened an "Experience Center" at 660 J Street that offers a hands-on demonstration of what the arena is going to look like once it opens in 2016. Tours of the 8,000 square-foot facility are currently available to fans and prospective suite holders who make an appointment through SacramentoESC.com.

What's in the "XC?" Well, there is an Oculus Rift headset that lets users fully immerse themselves in the plaza, concourse and arena bowl. It also lets you stand on the floor and look around the entire arena as DeMarcus Cousins comes running up to you and addresses the crowd.

Aside from the Oculus Rift experience, there is an augmented reality station that serves as a model for the facility.

"What most teams in the 20th Century do is they build a three-foot by three-foot model, built to scale, of what their arena or stadium will look like. What we've decided to do is use augmented reality to achieve the same end," said Kings President Chris Granger.

Check it out.

The table in the video is holding a piece of paper that functions with the app. Granger said team employees could eventually put the same type of paper on the back of their business cards or other team-related materials. Fans could be sent the paper and the app to experience the augmented reality on their tablet or phone (the app would have to be sent to an individual directly from the Kings as it is not available to the general public at the moment).

Next to the augmented reality area is a wireless charging station to illustrate the various areas in the new arena (suites, clubs and public spaces) where folks would be able to charge their devices. Granger said the Kings could even end up putting them in the armrests of the seats.

Speaking of the seats, another interesting piece of the XC is the side-by-side comparison of the seats at Sleep Train Arena and the seats that will be in the new arena. The new leather seats will be purple (go figure), four inches wider and quite a bit more comfortable, as you can see.

New:

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Old:

Img_9367_medium

The replica suite in the XC includes a communal table that doubles as a charging station for mobile devices. It also has a kitchen, storage, TVs and iPads that serve as "control panels," giving attendees control to customize their experience. The suite is 650 square feet (the suites at Sleep Train Arena are 400 square feet). Granger said 26 of the 30 or so suites in the new arena will look exactly like this.

Img_9373_medium

A "green wall" lines the backdrop of the facility's bar area. Granger said this illustrates how the new arena will feature living vegetation.

"Throughout the process we've been talking about huge swaths of the building that will have living green walls … it allows us a chance to test out the technology that we will use to keep the walls green, and fresh and lively," Granger said.

Img_9320_medium

The XC also features art from local artists and a conference room table created with local materials. Constructed and designed by AECOM/Icon/Turner, the Kings say everything in the XC was 95 percent locally sourced.

For more information, visit SacramentoESC.com.

***

In case you missed the final vote at City Hall on Tuesday night, here is video of the reaction inside the council chambers.

In other arena news, opponents are still attempting to block the project from happening. Threats of a signature petition drive (if the money is there) and a potential lawsuit over traffic and "riots" at Kings games, among other things, are being thrown around, according to The Sacramento Bee.

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