The Sacramento Kings are showing off components of a new downtown arena even though the arena hasn't been built yet.
The Kings' new "experience center" is on the second floor of an office building on J Street. In one room is a wall of foliage.
In another room is a wall of art by Sacramento artists.
Every room has a different high-tech way to see the arena floorplan and -more importantly- the views from any luxury seating area.
Team President Chris Granger gave the first tours to the Kings' owners.
"We will showcase our products here, we will showcase our commitment to sustainability," he says. "Some things we have in mind from a technology standpoint, and some things we have in mind from a food and beverage standpoint here."
Granger says the "experience center" will help encourage corporate partnerships and ticket sales.
"In terms of reaching out to the marketplace, first for people who are interested in suite products, then for people who are interested in what we are calling a loft or a theater-box product. After that it will be club seats and then we're just going to go sort of in order," he says.
Tim Romani is the CEO of the arena project manager, Icon Venue. He says he's never seen another team approach sales this way.
"This one is certainly different. I think just the way they've set this up and the way they've described it. This is an experience center, not a sales center. The point they're clearly making here is that this is not Sleep Train Arena anymore."
About 10 feet away is a row of faded blue, scratched, plastic Sleep Train seats. Across from them sits a row of purple, plush, leather-covered seats that are planned for the new arena.
Romani says the experience center is also unique because of the way it showcases the new arena's features and for its location just a block away from the construction site.
"Usually it's in a high-rise you know further away a quarter-mile away or a half-mile away that you're looking down into the distance., This is you're looking right out the window and you'll be able to watch the progress happening. Almost, you can reach out and touch it."
The "experience center" is available for a tour by appointment only. The Kings say they hope to host a series of small open houses in the coming months to give more fans access.
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