With ears still ringing from the cowbells and “Sac-ra-men-to” chants that filled the halls almost a decade ago, fans gathered at Sleep Train Arena on Saturday to big their final goodbye to the building before its transformation from basketball arena/event venue to hospital. As expected, the Kingdom showed up and showed out for the first love of the city, where this team became a family and where the league was put on notice that the Kings were more than just in crowns from a cow town.
Season ticket holders were welcome this morning for an exclusive chat with Doug Christie, Vlade Divac, Brad Miller and Sacramento Monarch Ruthy Bolton inside of the arena, where lone spotlights shined on iconic moments in the building’s tenure. Historic playoff moments, a WNBA championship and the loudest fans in the world were pictured as those in the Kings community reminisced on what this space has held in the hearts and minds of many since turn of the century.
Later in the afternoon, the general public joined in the festivities, lining up for walk-through tours of the photo exhibit, a last sit in those uncomfortable, yet familiar blue + red chairs and collect free memorabilia from both the Kings and Monarchs collection. Posters, basketballs, tumblers, cups, t-shirts were and more could be acquired in a swap-meet style - and will now hang proudly across the desks, shelves and entertainment centers of the community, some adding to their already large array and some picking up their first piece.
The kingpin of Arco’s goodbye was a photo opportunity with the iconic Sixth Man statue, that needs to find its rightful home outside of Golden 1 Center.
Today spoke to exactly what these Kings fans are in this community, coming together to say farewell to a building. Only we could send it off in such a fashion.
Thanks for the memories, Arco. And for what it’s worth - we were never, ever going to call you Power Balance Pavilion.