Demolition begins to make way for new Sacramento arena

SACRAMENTO – The tear-down at Downtown Plaza began early Friday morning, but it will a little longer before you notice any changes.

Barricades, lane re-striping, electrical and utility work and more are part of the first phase while knocking down parts of the mall to make way for a Sacramento Kings new arena won't happen until mid-August.

That doesn't mean the area doesn't look like a construction zone though, with hundreds of workers going in and out.

David DeMoss, with Consolidated Communications, was marking their underground lines.

"Banking lines, security lines, police lines and more," he said. "We don't want those cut at all."

When asked about the arena project, he smiled and said, "I can't wait. It's going to be the greatest thing for downtown."

Even fans showed up to see history in the making.

"We're definitely happy about what's going on," Gemar Childress said. "If I had a shovel, I'd help them take down the K Street mall right now."

Not all of it though. The stores west of 5th Street, like Macy's and the River City Brewing Company, will remain.

Before crews went to work, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and Sacramento Kings President Chris Granger addressed the workers.

Immediately after, Johnson told reporters, "They're going to build something that's monumental. This is going to be their legacy."

Granger, who previously worked for former NBA Commissioner David Stern in New York City, was very candad.

"There were weeks where I did not think this was going to happen," he said. "When I was [with] the NBA ,there were weeks when I was focused on how to get another market up and going instead of Sacramento. And then I spent multiple weeks here and my belief system began to turn."

The other market Granger was working on was Seattle, where the Kings almost ended up.

Construction Timeline

  • Summer 2014: Truck deliveries, barrier set up, street re-striping, interior abatement and utility shut-down. Demolition of existing buildings.
  • Summer/fall 2014: Mass excavation of Downtown Plaza
  • Fall/winter 2014: Foundation construction
  • Winter/summer 2015: Concrete pours, steel structure built
  • Summer/fall 2015: Building façade, roof construction
  • Fall 2015-2016: Interior assembly
  • Fall 2016: Construction completed

Legal Challenges

The Sacramento Kings and the city of Sacramento overcame what was thought to be a final hurdle last week when a Sacramento County judge denied an injunction to halt the venue's construction.

The lawsuit claimed the city and the Kings were ignoring issues raised in the Environmental Impact Report.

An appeal has now been filed, demanding proof the NBA set a 2017 deadline for a new arena. If the Kings and city didn't fulfill that reported deadline, the team could end up leaving Sacramento.

Granger responded to the appeal, saying, "It's in writing. If and when we're requested to show that, it will be shown. I was on the NBA side, so I'm not worried."


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