More Than 50,000 Fans Enjoy California Classic at Golden 1 Center

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DOWNTOWN SACRAMENTO -- More than 50,000 fans filed into the Golden 1 Center this week for the three-day California Classic.

Since Monday, Downtown Commons has been filled with basketball fans trying to get a glimpse of the NBA's future stars.

"I came to see Marvin Bagley," said Kings fan Angel Isais. "I wanted to see how he was going to play. He didn't do too good tonight, but it was fun to come and check it out."

As much fun was being had on the court, the Kings tried to duplicate that with off-the-court entertainment.

From a youth forum with NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas and more than 200 kids to an outdoor concert on the plaza with Grammy award-winning artist Lil Jon.

"Which was just phenomenal to see over 5,000 people on the plaza watching Lil Jon perform," said John Rinehart, the president of business operations for the Kings. "The energy that brought was really what we envisioned."

It was a welcomed sight for all of downtown, which sees, on average, a 50 percent boost in foot traffic on game nights.

"You know, downtown was really packed. The hotel was really crowded, the Sawyer was really rockin' each of the nights. So, we were happy to put the work in because we really do want to make this a signature event for Sacramento," Rinehart said.

The Kings and most fans say they want the summer league to return but it appears the league will have the final say and that won't come until next year.

"What we wanted to do this year was show what this event could do and what Sacramento could make it and we think we did that," Rinehart said. "We'll talk about next year when the time comes. But like I said, we love this event and we'd love to keep hosting it and we'll talk about that when the time comes."

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