The Sacramento Kings have a chance this week to showcase the environmental features of the Golden 1 Center, known as one of the greenest arenas in the country, to national sports executives.
The downtown stadium is hosting the Green Sports Alliance. It's a nonprofit group of sports leaders dedicated to reducing the environmental footprint of the industry, which could mean everything from reducing energy use among all the suppliers of a sports team to designing green arenas.
“There are thousands of buildings in sports that have embraced this sports greening movement," says Justin Zeulner, executive director of the Green Sports Alliance. "There are very few that represent the level at which this facility, what Golden 1 Center, represents.”
Golden 1 has reached LEED Platinum status, the highest score given by the U.S. Green Building Council. It’s the first indoor arena in the nation to do so.
“The next arena that gets built, I’m going to guess is going to try to compete as best as possible and try to one up Golden 1 Center,” says Zeulner.
The firm that designed the arena had home-court advantage.
“Just meeting code in California means that you are already one of the most innovative and energy efficient venues in the country," says Alastair MacGregor, vice president of AE COM, which designed the building. "This venue beats that by over 20 percent just through energy efficiency. Then when you add in our actual grid consumption it's 35 percent less.”
Golden 1 is 100 percent solar-powered. The building boasts low-flow plumbing, LED lighting, recycled gray water, and locally-sourced food. But the reason the Sacramento Kings built a green arena wasn’t to one-up other sports teams.
“The science of climate change is undeniable at this point and I think from a sports standpoint, people pay attention to what sports teams do, so we think it’s not just an opportunity for us but our responsibility,” says Chris Granger, president of the Sacramento Kings.
He adds being in the national environmental spotlight — even temporarily — is great.