In an effort to help regional hospitals from becoming overcrowded as the threat of the coronavirus grows in the Sacramento County, the Army Corps of Engineers is planning on turning the Sleep Train Arena — the former home of the Sacramento Kings — into a 360-bed field hospital, the Corps’ Chief Army Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite said in a press conference on Friday.
The Kings played in the Sleep Train Arena — formerly known as the Arco Arena — from 1988 to 2016. In 2016, they moved into their new home, the Golden 1 Center. However, while the Kings no longer player at the Sleep Train Arena, they still own the 183-acre property in North Natomas. Additionally, the Kings’ G League affiliate, the Stockton Kings, use the arena’s practice facility and offices.
Now, with the G League season expected to be canceled and all other events postponed for foreseeable future, the arena isn’t being used for anything, which is why it’s one of the 114 facilities across the United States that’s being considered by the Army Corps of Engineers — under direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) — to be converted into a temporary hospital. The arena would be used to house both COVID-19 patients and trauma care patients, according to Semonite.
No decision has been made on the conversion of Sleep Train Arena yet, but the issue is expected to be resolved within the coming days, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said in during a Facebook Live update on Friday night. The Kings did not respond to a request for comment, according to Tara Copp and Tony Bizjak of The Sacramento Bee, who first reported the Corps’ plans on Thursday.