SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Golden 1 Center will be allowing Sacramento Kings fans back inside starting April 20 — just one week from Tuesday.
That first game against the Minnesota Timberwolves will open for roughly 1,600 frontline workers.
But the next home game on the following day, also against the Timberwolves, will be open to the general public, as will the next six Kings home games.
Season ticket holders will be able to buy tickets first, with unsold tickets eventually being released to the general public.
“We are super excited for it,” said Scott McLeod, the general manager for Polanco Cantina.
The announcement could be a saving grace for countless businesses inside Downtown Commons, on nearby K Street and all around downtown Sacramento, which have all had a tough year.
“With the opening and closing, it’s been a struggle just to keep staff, maintain staff,” McLeod told FOX40. “Ordering supplies, getting things in, and then having to close down and lose those supplies and ingredients is very difficult.”
Mcleod said business at Polanco Cantina, which is just across the plaza from the Golden 1 Center, has already been picking up.
But Monday’s announcement could help push business high into the black.
“With the opening of the event center, that just means our sales will double and triple over the next few months,” McLeod said. “So that’s really big to us.”
While the Kings allowing fans back to home games is good for bars and restaurants, other businesses like Estelle Bakery & Patisserie believe the increase in foot traffic can only help them as well.
“It really changes everything about how busy we get,” said Ben Walker, Estelle’s general manager.
Walker said he is grateful his business has been able to remain open, especially when he thinks of how many others downtown closed for good.
“I see all the empty businesses that are just littered around this walk and I just feel terrible for them,” he said.
So far, the Kings say capacity will only be at around 1,600, but that could change as Sacramento County enters other tiers.
However, businesses FOX40 spoke with said it’s too bad the team’s chances of making the playoffs and having more home games past the May 16 end of the regular season are not looking promising.
“It’s like ‘let’s resume,’ and it’s almost over,” Walker said.
“But with concerts and events, I know the venue keeps things going year-round. So they already have tickets on sale for the first concert, which will be Oct. 1” McLeod explained. “So, we already know what’s coming, and we just have to staff up and be prepared. Right now, the hard part is finding employees that want to get out and work right now.”