Kings Fans Attend Thursday’s Game Without Issue

SACRAMENTO -- Fans made their way into the Golden 1 Center Thursday without skipping a beat to watch the Sacramento Kings take on the Indiana Pacers.

The night was very different than anticipated based on the last couple of games held at the arena. Hundreds were turned away when people protesting the police shooting of Stephon Clark blocked the entrances.

Thursday night, Sacramento Police stood guard outside. Chain link fences were installed to allow only ticket holders inside.

"Glad to be able to get in tonight. So it’s all good," said fan Marlon Garrett, who was blocked from entering a previous game.

Kings head coach Dave Joerger said the team was praying for a peaceful, positive night and hoped to see fans in seats when they looked up from the court.

"You know, when we all say that once the ball goes up it’s all in between the lines, but we’re human," Joerger told the press.

Out of all the protesters marching through downtown Sacramento Thursday, only one showed up outside during game time. That meant that all the 100 or so police officers providing extra security were on standby all evening with no disruptions to respond to.

"We put a plan together that we felt really good about," said Sacramento Police Sgt. Vance Chandler.

Chandler said now Sacramento Police are planning for Saturday’s game.

"We will look at what went well tonight and then come up with a strategic plan," Chandler said.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg was also at the arena and spoke privately with officers, thanking them for working with the community and the Kings to ensure that everyone could come in safely.

John Holden, who was shut out of Tuesday's game, held a sign that read, "Does anyone else have concerns for our safety here?” He thinks the mayor handled the protests that day all wrong.

"He’s trying to be politically correct. I totally understand that this is a very bad situation, but safety first," Holden said.