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Local designers have expressed their critiques on the proposed new Downtown Kings arena. FOX40 exclusively spoke to the lead architect, Rob Rothblatt of AECOM for reaction.

“The world does not expect your average arena anymore,” Rothblatt said. He explained that the $448 million project is a game-changer for sports arena design.

“Most of these arenas are looking in, and they are looking just at the basketball court, and they don’t have a lot of windows,” Rothblatt said. “And how do you turn that inside out and start interacting with this neighborhood? That’s what we thought about.”

The new arena will have full LEED certification (high sustainability standards), natural artistic motifs and materials reflecting Northern California, an open top roof, and a mixed-use plaza surrounding the arena.

Initially, designers also brainstormed other styles. They imagined an all-glass boxy arena with a large open courtyard like the Spanish Plaza Mayor. However, when they prioritized sustainability, the current design was born.

However, not everyone is as enthusiastic about the design as Rothblatt and his team. Some called the arena a King’s crown. Others said it looks like a crushed Aluminum can.

“The giant aircraft hanger doors, which nobody else has, I don’t think those are crushed aluminum cans items,” Rothblatt defended. “I don’t know who said that, and I didn’t meet them at a public commission, but I would liked to, if they want to get involved in that discussion.”

With a court battle looming, there us still a chance this project may never come to fruition.

“That’s always a chance you take as an architect” Rothblatt said. “What we try to do, is work with what we were given, do the best we can for our client and hope that the whole project can move forward.”



Take a look at the arena renderings