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Sacramento Kings launch new app for fans

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The Kings app has new features including Uber and enhancements to the in-game experience.

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Photo by Blake Ellington

The Sacramento Kings have launched a new version of the fan app, equipped with an updated user interface and other features, including Uber integration and a "Going to the Game" section.

Adding Uber, which is a popular taxi/private car or ride share service built around mobile phone integration, continues Vivek Ranadive's and the rest of the Kings ownership's goal of creating a "more frictionless experience" for fans attending games, according to Andy Miller, Kings co-owner and head of technology for the team.

"Not only are we able to create a more frictionless experience, but with Uber, we're also increasing the safety for our fans and arena neighbors and supporting a platform that helps make Sacramento a more vibrant and viable place to live, work and play," Miller said.

The Kings also are trying to build a complete "location-aware" and "state-specific" app with tailored content for fans going to the game, at the game and leaving the game. The new app, which was made available for iOS on Oct. 31, includes a "Going to the Game" feature. To use this, Kings fans will see a menu bar appear in the app prior to the game. When they click on it, they will get things such as the weather and have the ability to request an Uber ride to the game.

"Over the course of the season, fans will be able to see traffic, pay for parking and see who among their friends will be in attendance," Miller said.

The "During the Game" section of the app provides fans the ability to see live stats - both team and player stats - and game highlights.

"Soon, fans will be able to order food from their seats and upgrade their seats. Over the course of the season, we will test the multicast replays to specific sections in the arena," Miller said.

The "After the Game" section gives fans access to the game recaps as well as video highlights and stats.

As attention switches to how technology can boost the fan experience at the new downtown arena, which is expected to open in 2016, the Kings continue to test their options at Sleep Train Arena. One example is their goal to add charging stations throughout the concourse by the end of the year. In addition, the new scoreboard screens and stage lighting the team has installed at the current arena will remain for the season.

"This is also about continuing to test what works well and what is the highest value for fans so that we can invest accordingly in the new arena," Miller said.

In addition, 28 more antennas for improved Wi-Fi throughout the bowl have been installed.

One current downside to the new app is that it doesn't have the radio broadcast feature with Gary Gerould built in, but Miller said it will be live in the app in a couple of weeks after the first update happens.

The app will be available on Android later this month.