SBJ/June 10-16, 2013/Facilities

Kings’ arena design RFP going to select group of architects

Don Muret
The Sacramento Kings are targeting a small group of sports architects to design their new $448 million arena.

AECOM, 360 Architecture, Populous and Rossetti will be issued the request for proposal, industry sources said. Over the past several years, AECOM, 360 and Populous have all designed NBA arenas, and all three firms were involved in proposed arena developments in Sacramento.

Rossetti has not done work in Sacramento tied to the Kings, but the Detroit-based firm designed the Palace of Auburn Hills and the renovations to the Pistons’ arena over the past 25 years. In addition, the firm has worked on upgrades to Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

An interior look at AECOM’s initial design for a new Kings arena
Image by: AECOM
“Those are logical firms to consider because of their arena development experience,” said Adam Keigwin, a spokesman for Vivek Ranadivé, the Kings’ new majority owner. “With that being said … the final determination [for who gets the RFP] has not been made.”

360 Architecture, designer of a proposed arena in Seattle for developer Chris Hansen in his unsuccessful bid to buy the Kings and relocate them to that city, will not pursue the Sacramento deal because of other commitments, said Chris Lamberth, 360’s director of business development.

The Kings expect the design proposal to be issued this week by the team’s program manager, Keigwin said.

The team selected Icon Venue Group to fill that role, sources said. As of last week, Keigwin said he could not confirm the information until a contract is signed. Over the past two years, Icon officials have worked closely with Sacramento leaders in an attempt to get an arena deal done.

Streamlining the process for hiring an architect falls in line with the Kings’ efforts to meet the NBA’s deadline for building a new arena.

NBA Commissioner David Stern has given the Kings until 2017 to open a new arena, one year later than the commitment city officials made to help keep the club in town, according to local reports. If the arena does not open by 2017, the NBA says it holds an option to relocate the Kings.

California law requires an environmental impact review for all new construction projects before breaking ground. Those reviews can take 12 months to 18 months to complete.

> JOIN THE CLUB: Brad Henke got a pleasant surprise during his recent visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Henke, an actor, played briefly in the NFL as a defensive end for the Denver Broncos in 1989, and got to play in the Super Bowl that season.

Over the past 24 years, Henke has enjoyed greater success as an actor, appearing in several movies and television shows, including “Space Jam,” “The Fan” and “Arli$$,” three sports-themed productions.

Henke plays the role of a trainer in “Draft Day,” a new football movie being filmed in Cleveland starring Kevin Costner as the Browns’ general manager, who is trying to resurrect the team’s fortunes.

While on location shooting the film, Henke traveled to the hall, which recently completed a $27 million renovation, the most extensive upgrade in the facility’s 50-year history.

Shortly before its grand reopening in early June, Joe Horrigan, the hall’s longtime vice president of communications and exhibits, gave Henke a private tour of the building. One new exhibit tied to the renovation, “Teams of the NFL,” has team photographs of every club in the league’s 93-year history, both present-day and those no longer in existence. Horrigan pulled up the ’89 Broncos and up popped Henke’s image in the team picture.

“It’s cool for the guys who just had a cup of coffee in the NFL,” Horrigan said. “He was delighted and can now say he’s in the Hall of Fame.”

Don Muret can be reached at dmuret@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @breakground.

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