SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Another season of Sacramento Kings basketball is underway, bringing thousands of fans to Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento. 

Before the Kings’ opened the 2022-23 game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Oct. 19, Sacramento police recommended fans plan accordingly as traffic downtown would be heavier than usual.

Typically before large events, L and 5th street around the arena is closed and roads surrounding the arena are closed after events. 

The road closures is also expect to impact traffic for fans going to Kings games all season or other events at the arena.

With the arena hosting numerous events every year, here are some tips to avoid being in a traffic jam, getting a parking ticket, or different ways you can get to the arena.

Parking garages and meters

The Golden 1 Center recommends purchasing pre-paid parking passes online for games and other events at the arena. Parking passes can be purchased through the city of Sacramento through the SacPark website. 

Fans are encouraged to arrive early, as parking garages associated with the Golden 1 Center are scheduled to open two hours before tipoff or events. 

Parking garages are located downtown in proximity to the arena and those passes can be bought here. 

If parking garages are full, there are parking meters near the area and a map of those meters can be found on the city of Sacramento website. 

SacPark allows motorists to pay at the meter or pay remotely with the Parkmobile app.

The pricing structure is different for each, which are as follows, according to the city’s website: 

  • Tier 1 = $1.75 (base hourly meter rate)
  • Tier 2 = $3.00 for the next hour
  • Tier 3 = $3.75 for each hour thereafter

Transportation to and from the arena

To avoid traffic and parking, fans can get to the arena by using the region’s light rail system, the Sacramento Regional Transit has stops within one block from the arena. 

Passengers can park and ride at three different stations using three different routes in the light rail systems, according to SacRT.

For passengers using the Gold Line from Folsom, Rancho Cordova, and Rosemont, they can park and ride at the Sunrise or Watt/Manlove stations and exit at the station at 8th and K streets. 

To board the train after the event, passengers are asked to wait for the light rail at the 7th Street and Capitol Mall station. 

Passengers who use the Blue Line from Citrus Heights and Roseville board park and board the train at the Roseville Road station and exit at the station on 10th and K streets. After an event, they board the train at the station at 9th and K streets after an event. 

Those who use the blue line from South Sacramento and Elk Grove can park and ride the light rail at Franklin or Florin stations and exit at the 9th and K station. Passengers who used this route are asked to board the train at the 7th and Capitol station after an event. 

According to the SacRT website, these bus stops are closed during Golden 1 Center events: 

  • 3rd and J streets (Board at J and 8th streets)
  • J and 4th/3rd street bus stop (Board at J and 8th streets)
  • J and 6th streets (Board at J and 8th for bus route 62, bus route 30 and 38 still pick up here)
  • L and 4th streets (Board at L and 9th streets)
  • L and 5th streets (Board at L and 9th streets)

Rideshare services such as Lyft and Uber are another way to go to and from events at the Golden 1 Center. 

Rates for rides from those services depend on demand, time of day, and how many drivers are active.