Golden 1 Center Opening Night: Concertgoers Strategize to Avoid Traffic

DOWNTOWN SACRAMENTO -- Hours before Paul McCartney took the stage, the cones and road blocks were in place and the metal detectors were up around the Golden 1 Center.

The already busy streets of downtown Sacramento were about to be flooded with Paul McCartney fans heading to the new arena's first big event.

"This is an unproven deal down here, so we thought to eliminate any of the headaches that might happen, let's go ahead and spend the night downtown," said Phil Reif.

Reif and his wife planned to be some of the first fans in line when doors opened at 6:30 p.m.

To avoid road closures in the area, the Rancho Cordova residents booked a hotel room so they could walk to the concert.

"I'm not inconvenienced at all, this is downtown Sacramento, this is good stuff seeing everything built around us and renewed is all good," said Bill Allayud.

Allayud works downtown and had already reserved his parking spot in a city lot for Wednesday night's concert.

But he doesn't think driving is the best strategy.

"I think in the future I'll get more creative, maybe walk my bike in, walk over, take the bus home or light rail home, that kind of thing," Allayud said.

To calm traffic, the city plans to briefly close some streets surrounding the arena before and after big events.

"Hopefully it's a little bit of a wait and see, and we can learn how the traffic patterns go," said Pete Noack, owner of Hotel Marshall and Art Hotel.

Noack is a little concerned about congestion on L Street, but he welcomes the influx of people who will activate and energize downtown.

"It's just great, great to have the downtown truly come together," said Noack.

For people like Reif, seeing a huge star like Paul McCartney in Sacramento makes the traffic and the crowds worth it.

"This is actually my first time that I'm gonna see a Beatle in person," said Reif.

And getting to see Paul McCartney in Sacramento's new arena?

"Ah, that's just the icing on the cake, we got a new arena here.. that's so cool," Reif said.