Some Concerned About Homeless Population Living on Streets Surrounding Golden 1 Center

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SACRAMENTO -- The Golden 1 Center doesn't open for another two weeks, but Monday, many of the construction fences came down allowing the public to walk right up to the arena.

Many Sacramentans are getting their first view of the Kings' new arena from the outside.

"I came out of Macy's, and I'm in such a habit of coming the other way, I just went straight, it felt actually pretty good, it looks cool," Mike Loterbauer tells FOX40.

"It looks great," another Kings fan said.

But surrounding the construction site, dozens of homeless call the streets home and some worry the new landscape may seem inviting to them.

"The reality is this is an urban environment, and I think some of the issues that we face downtown are not dissimilar to what we're seeing across the state of California," said Michael Ault, executive director of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership.

Ault admits the homeless population presents a challenge.

"Working with RT on the bus stops to make sure they look good. Working on lighting, bringing the tree canopy up so the pedestrian environment, before," Ault said.

He told FOX40 he doesn't believe that will scare away potential investors.

"We feel strongly when you got 15,000 people on the streets coming in and out of an event, that issue is not as visible as it may be at other times."

The Golden 1 Center will maintain a security presence throughout the year. Many we spoke with believe the problem won't keep basketball fans away.

"You can't do anything about that, they'll be around, it's the same at Staple Center, Oakland, you really can't do anything," Loterbauer said.

After Paul McCartney plays two concerts the first week of October, many are wondering if the rest of downtown Sacramento will be revitalized as so many had promised.

Boarded up windows still plague store fronts across downtown.

"You're going to start to see not only the activity but the interest in downtown really change," Ault said already a few new businesses have popped up and more are coming. "One of them, the 700 block of K Street, which is literally the front door of the arena, is going to have 14 different retail leases signed."

Still basketball fans we spoke with tell us they're not worried about finding a place to eat before the game but instead a place for their car.

"That's the thing I worry about is parking. I don't know how they're going to handle that," Loterbauer told FOX40.

Ault said that will be a challenge, but one he ultimately believes the city and businesses will work out.

"Our hope is that people don't think they need to park next to the arena, park five or six blocks away, stop at some of the businesses before and after the venue," Ault told FOX40.

While it won't happen over night, Ault said the new arena will usher in a new downtown Sacramento that will look much different than it does today.

"The downtown core, the way that we think it's going, three to five years from now, this will be a much different destination," Ault said.

On Oct. 1 the arena will be open to the public for an open house and Kings team practice. Then Paul McCartney plays two shows on Oct. 4 and 5. Those shows will give the city and the Kings an idea of how traffic will flow coming to and leaving from future games.