Natomas Arena to Serve as Surge Hospital

The former Sleep Train Arena has sat largely unused for four years since the last Sacramento Kings game was played at it in April 2016. / Photo: Casey Saumure/Skyshot Drones

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

The arena site in Natomas will be converted to a surge field hospital it was announced today.

“We are fortunate in Sacramento to have a space like the former arena to use during this time,” said Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby. “Obviously, it is our hope that it won’t be needed. But if we do, it will be here — ready to serve our community.”

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services released plans for the California Department of Public Health, in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to use the arena and practice facility to provide critical medical services for coronavirus and trauma care patients.

“In the weeks to come we will continue to work with the Kings, the State of California and the federal government to put our city in the best possible position to help as many people as we can,” said Ashby.

The hospital will house approximately 360 beds along with additional hospital services. It will be used to provide additional capacity for the Sacramento region in response to the expected surge in COVID-19 patients.

“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the medical professionals and frontline workers risking their lives every day and making tremendous sacrifices to protect us and provide essential services,” said Sacramento Kings Chairman, CEO and Owner Vivek Ranadivé, in a press release. “Our deepest thanks go out to all of the local public health experts and elected officials, including Mayor Steinberg and Councilmember Ashby, working to safeguard the community during this unprecedented time.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom commended the Kings, federal and local officials for the plan.

“The State of California is working with the Kings to repurpose the team’s former home to help treat COVID-19 patients and meet the coming surge in demand for hospital space,” Newsom is quoted as saying in the press release. “This facility, which for decades brought joy to the lives of Californians, will now be in the business of saving lives.”

The Sacramento Kings reported donating $250,000 to support area community organizations which provide essential services and supplies to families and individuals in need as well as 100,000 medical masks to state and local health agencies.

The Natomas arena surge hospital will also provide employment opportunities for Kings employees who are unable to work due to the closure of Golden 1 Center. Already, the Kings said many of their part-time workers are temporarily employed through priority hiring programs with partners such as Raley’s.

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