Thoughts on recreating the connection, spectacle, and drawing power that coliseums of Rome mastered centuries ago — today.
We are living in a new age — Civilization 3.0 — a time when the world’s largest bookseller has no physical book stores, the world’s largest maker of microchips owns no factories, the world’s largest taxi company owns no cars, and the world’s largest hotel company owns no hotel rooms.
Driven by the digitization of everything, social platforms that keep us constantly connected, and an unprecedented explosion of data, consumers of this new age are defined by wanting “more” at insatiable levels — more service, more convenience, and more efficiency — armed with social media to articulate their satisfaction or disappointment.
My background as the founder and CEO of two technology companies, specializing in real-time data, has led to my belief that math, data and technology are the cornerstones for innovation in this new age.
Now as the owner of the Sacramento Kings, we’re applying this same philosophy to deliver the most innovative experiences to our fans. Using cutting-edge technologies and data, we are completely transforming how fans in the arena and beyond will experience the game, making them the first fans in the NBA to experience the future of sports.
And it all starts with Golden 1 Center.
Since ancient Roman times, great cities have centered around magnificent coliseums — communal fireplaces — where diverse citizenry would gather, connect, and enjoy public spectacle. In the more than 2,000 years since however, very little has changed.
Yes, the tessera, the ancient Roman equivalent of a ticket once made of clay shards, has been replaced by digital tickets and the massive high definition video boards of today amplify the action in ways never before possible, but beyond that, even the latest venues look and act a lot like the ancient coliseums of yesteryear.
Vomitoria, or efficiently designed passageways, continue to drive and disperse the flow of people; the complicated event levels of today are largely akin to those found in the Roman Colosseum; and the concept of premium seating isn’t at all different from what the senatorial class would find in First Century AD. We believe, however, Golden 1 Center marks a significant departure from the traditional coliseum model.
The citizens of Civilization 3.0 are sophisticated and demanding. The pressures on their time are unprecedented; their entertainment options, virtually unlimited. How then, given this environment, can we recreate the connection, spectacle, and drawing power that coliseums of Rome mastered centuries ago? As was the case with the Colosseum, it starts with cutting-edge architecture and engineering, though this time, with a decidedly 21st century and uniquely California approach.
Unlike the venues of yore, your experience with Golden 1 Center will begin the moment you even think about attending an event. Imagine as you peruse available ticket inventory, you are reminded which of your friends are planning to attend, and where they are sitting. Imagine being intuitively directed to open parking spaces, on a real-time basis, within the downtown corridor.
Imagine being virtually prompted to the shortest routes, shortest wait times, or available reservations within the venue itself. Creating an environment where Golden 1 Center checks into you. We are designing a venue ecosystem that will anticipate and respond to your needs, on a hyper-individualized basis. As we detail in a new report released today, Golden 1 Center will truly be the first Colosseum for the Digital Age — the fastest and most connected indoor sports and entertainment venue in the world.
We are investing in a world-class technology platform that will consistently update to ensure that the best fans in the world connect quickly and reliably to the Internet wherever they are in the arena, on our three-acre public plaza or anywhere in the vibrant Downtown Commons (DOCO) retail and entertainment district. The Internet connection at Golden 1 Center will be 17,000 times faster than the average home Internet connection, capable of handling more than 225,000 Instagram photos or over 500,000 Snapchat posts per second.
In addition, we are setting new standards for sustainability, a must in California’s capital, but truly anywhere in the world today. We will be the first sporting venue in the world to secure 100 percent of its power from the sun. A radical cooling system, powered by Sacramento’s “Delta Breeze” and displacement ventilation strategies, will redefine in-arena comfort and clean air quality. And of course, drought-resistant landscaping, low-flow plumbing, and storm-water recapture strategies will further demonstrate our respect for the environment.
And as we think about our environment and sustainability, we are proud that 90 percent of our entire food and beverage program will be sourced from a network of more than 750 local, sustainable farmers, brewers, ranchers, and wineries. Sacramento and California’s Central Valley boast one of the most bountiful, diverse agricultural regions in the world, and our fans will enjoy the actual and figurative fruits of our geography in a healthy, fresh, and delicious way.
Golden 1 Center will in fact reinvent the coliseum paradigm. Its architecture and technology underpinnings will enable the venue to adapt seamlessly and meaningfully to our fans, our performers, and our environment.
I have dedicated my life to using technology to solve meaningful problems to make the world a better place. The Sacramento Kings and I are honored to play a similar role in our industry and state.
I can’t wait to welcome you to the 21st Century Colosseum.