Shaq spills secrets on new downtown Sacramento arena

SACRAMENTO, CA- A lot of fans in California's capital are chanting "Shaq-ramento" as former NBA great Shaquille O'Neal was introduced to the community as a Kings' co-owner Tuesday.

Shaq and team majority owner Vivek Ranadive visited News10 Tuesday morning for an interview.WhileShaq talked a lot about his role with the team, he also ended uprevealing a few secrets.

The new arena will be designed asboth an indoor and outdoor venue, which willalso includean indoor and outdoor facility.

"When (Vivek) showed me that vision I was like, 'Please, please please, please can I become an investor?'" Shaq said.

That vision is a challenge. Vivek told his team the new arena must be the most iconic arena on the planet. Unfortunately,the publicstill doesn't know what it will look like. The latest renderings are5 months old, and the new one will likely be completely different.

Kings co-owner Mark Mastrovshared a little more, sayingpeople willbe able see everything from the outside looking in, or on huge screens.

"You will not walk in the door and go to your seat," Mastrov explained. "You'll have a block or two that you'll enjoy the venue before you get to your seat."

At Shaq's introduction in the Kings' Practice Facility, Ranadive dropped one more hint.

"For concerts and other events you can actually completely open it up," he said. "You can have 18,000 people inside and another 10,000 people outside."

The plan is forthe new arena, replacing the downtown plaza mall,to be at the forefront of the latest technology for such facilities.

Shaq said smartphone apps are a given.

"We'll show you where your seat is, we'll greet you and we'll show you where the shortest line for the bathroom is," he said. "We'll show you where the best pretzel stand is."

While that sounds neat, it's not revolutionary. However, one of their interactive goals is.

Vocalizing a dream vision of the owners, Mastrov said, "With seven seconds left in the half and we've got the ball in a timeout, coach is going to design (the play) from a three-base set. Meaning, the set will start from three different ways. We'll put it out to the fans, 'which of the three should we run?' Whatever play they pick, coach will say, 'Okay, fans chose B, we're running B.'"

Mastrovwent on toexplain the opposing team wouldn't have an upperhand because they wouldn't know the back half of the play.

Finally, Mastrov said when the arena plans are revealed, they'll have community meetings for input before everything is finalized.

By Nick Monacelli,


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