SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The old Sleep Train Arena, the Sacramento Kings former venue, had an underground tunnel that was used by circus clowns, according to an Instagram video on the team’s account.
In the video posted in February 2022, the tunnel is called a “clown cave” and it was used every time the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus had an event at the Sleep Train Arena. Clowns would dress and change in the tunnel for a show.
After every visit, something different was always added to the tunnel such as a message on the walls or a clown leaving their nose, according to the video. The tunnel was described in the video as “eerie” and “creepy.”
When the circus clowns weren’t using it for a show, the tunnel was used for facility storage.
Before the tunnel became a space for circus clowns, the video said the tunnel was originally supposed to be used to connect the old Kings arena to a dual baseball and football stadium – known as “Arco Park” – that never materialized.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have a tunnel in our current arena, although that could’ve been a great homage to our past,” the team said in the video.
After moving to Sacramento from Kansas City in 1985, the Kings played at the “original” Arco Arena on North Market Boulevard in the Natomas area from 1985 to 1988. The Kings started playing at Sleep Train Arena in 1988 and continued to play there until 2016. The team has played at Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento since the 2016-17 season.
On Feb. 15, the Sacramento City Council unanimously approved to transform the Sleep Train Arena site to the Innovation Park Project, which is expected to bring a mix of residential, commercial, retail, restaurants, parks, bike trails and a school.
The funding plan for the project is still a work in progress and some council members expressed concerns about where the money will come from. Eleven community members gave public comment at the virtual council meeting and were overwhelmingly in favor of the project.