Downtown Sacramento businesses feel sting of neighbors closing, lack of activity at Golden 1 Center

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — With the NBA season restarting, that typically would be good news for businesses in downtown Sacramento surrounding the Golden 1 Center. 

However, this week yet another restaurant on K Street is temporarily closing because of the coronavirus. 

Pizza Rock made the announcement, giving small businesses in the area an ominous feeling. They worry that other restaurants could follow suit. 

“It doesn’t do us any good,” Capital Books owner Ross Rojek said. 

Rojek says the Kings playing Orlando won’t do much to help the businesses that have built up around the area, unless they win. 

“I suppose if they win there’ll be a big celebration for one night down there,” Rojek told FOX40. “Yeah, I don’t see that happening.” 

And with Pizza Rock closing, Rojek worries what it could do to the foot traffic. 

“It’s like one less lunch option on the street, you know? They’re still bringing traffic down here still through till they were closing,” Rojek said. 

But Rojek says others are remaining open to a customer base which is fluctuating. 

“You know, Boiling Crab is still going. Everyone in the area is still open and running at least during they day,” Rojek said. 

The NBA season returning in Orlando is also not helping some of the Kings’ employees in Sacramento. 

A spokesperson for the team confirmed Friday is the last day of work for a portion of the staff at Golden 1 Center, most of whom, working in business operations, were furloughed back in June. 

Meanwhile, Rojek believes the Golden 1 Center has improved things on K Street. 

“It brought traffic down here, and it’s not just the Kings. Big events were down there. Michelle Obama was supposed to be here back in April. You know, that would have sold it out for sure,” Rojek said. 

He just hopes his business and others can make it through the pandemic. 

“I think the convention center and the community is supposed to both be open in the fall, so it’s kind of just about our surviving long enough to get to that,” Rojek said. 

At the Golden 1 Center, some employees are out of a job while others must wait an additional month before returning to work. 

The Kings’ President of Business Operations John Rinehart issued a statement about staff. 

As part of the organization’s ongoing evolution of efforts to align with the changes in our business, we have made the difficult decision to transition a portion of previously furloughed full-time roles to a reduction in workforce effective July 31 and extend the furlough period for the remaining segment of previously furloughed employees to tentatively November 1 due to continued uncertainty surrounding the resumption of live events at Golden 1 Center resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

John Rinhart, President of Business Operations, Sacramento Kings

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