There are innovative professional sports franchises and then there are the Sacramento Kings. Their owner, Vivek Ranadivé, is one of the most forward-thinking executives in sports. Under his leadership, the Kings were selected by Fast Company as “the most innovative company in sports.” Thursday’s announcement has them living up to that billing.
The franchise announced the unveiling of the world’s first dedicated Esports training facility. Housed inside of the Golden 1 Center, it will be a “venue within a venue” serving gamers, touring artists, athletes and community groups alike.
The Sacramento Kings have announced plans to build the first dedicated esports facility inside of a professional sports venue, by placing an advanced training facility, broadcast center & gamer lounge inside of the Golden 1 Center.
— Alicia Jessop (@RulingSports) December 7, 2017
“Using technology to engage with our fans and reach new audiences has always been core to our organization’s mission,” said Ranadivé in a statement. “Golden 1 Center is the most advanced arena for basketball, entertainment and Esports. This state-of-the-art facility will set a new standard and provide the best-in-class tools that the next generation of superstar gamers need to train, compete and win.”
Ranadivé isn’t lying when he talks about the arena being advanced. Within its walls there is enough bandwidth to power 17,000 homes. The benefit of this for gaming? Zero lag.
This isn’t going to be an area strictly for on-the-sticks gaming. There will be a full-service, 4k broadcast studio as well. Here they will be putting together content and live streams of any Esports teams that the Kings are involved with. The Kings, for example, are one of a handful of NBA teams participating in the upcoming NBA 2K League.
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) December 7, 2017
The organization is also proud to offer many of the same training methods used by their basketball team. This ranges from brain training techniques all the way to a oxygen bar.
The Kings plan on hosting different events in the space — many of which will begin at the start of 2018.
Slowly but surely, the gap between Esports and traditional professional sports is becoming increasingly slim. Expect other franchises to branch out into the space as the new year approaches.