First things first: much respect to the city of Sacramento for enduring the 2 year drama to get the Kings a new arena and save their team. This week, the best case scenario was one big step to being realized as the renderings for the new ESC stadium have been released.
AECOM is the firm behind the innovative design that features giant glass airplane hangar style windows above the grand entrance. The windows can open up to the city and fans hanging out in the plaza can actually look down into the game, concert, or whatever the stadium is hosting from the outside. This is a neat concept to merge into sports, and a concept I feel will be successful. Sacramento is an ideal climate to mix indoor/outdoor activities and the Kings’ rabid fanbase should appreciate the new way to see the game. One thought, however, is that many basketball games are after 7pm and I’m not sure northern Cali nighttime temperatures are high enough to keep the windows wide open. So the Kings have got to get better so they can get some ABC Sunday games. I think the stadium will be completed first, so they got some time, ha!
If the doors are closed however, the design will still focus on enhancing the crowd noise — a key element from their fans now, as the current Arco Arena set a Guiness World Record for loudest indoor stadium earlier this season. Other ideas behind the stadium’s design is to create a downtown landmark for Sacramento that has a lot of outdoor features and restaurants so it can be a hub throughout the year, even with or without a game. I appreciate this trend in recent years to put more mixed-use function into stadiums and it looks like AECOM will be successful with ESC.
Browse the gallery above and watch this accompanying video from Kings.com below — an interview with AECOM Design Principal Rob Rothblatt who provides a great, concise overview of ESC’s ideology and design.