Having seen Arco Arena change into Power Balance Pavilion and then, 19 months later, change again into Sleep Train Arena, Kings fans know better than anyone that NBA arena names are subject to change. However, the most famous, iconic arenas (think Madison Square Garden, Staples Center, United Center) are more consistent. The new downtown arena in Sacramento is going to be the Kings home for the next 30 years, Kings fans probably hope that the new arena has an awesome name. At least not a name that will get us on any more lists of worst arena names.
(I actually don’t have as much of a problem with the name Sleep Train Arena as people from out of town, just because I think it’s cool that our arena is named after a regional company instead of a multinational corporation. I also hated Power Balance Pavilion, so in comparison Sleep Train Arena doesn’t seem so bad.)
What would you like to see the Kings’ new arena named? I have come up with some options, some of which are realistic and some of which are not. Obviously, the executives who actually decide these kinds of things do not put how cool the name sounds near the top of their list of things to consider when they begin naming rights negotiations. However, since there’s not much else going on with the Kings these days, I thought it would be fun to speculate on what we might like to see the new arena named.
While this name is not super exciting, it would be nice if the city named it something simple to reflect that the arena is the product of a city’s citizens and civic leaders coming together to achieve something great. There are other NBA cities that have taken this approach. Look no further than the New Orleans Pelicans, who play in the New Orleans Arena or the Detroit Pistons, who play in the Palace of Auburn Hills, located in none other than Auburn Hills, Michigan.
I don’t think anybody had a problem with the name Arco Arena. Some of the best moments in Sacramento Kings history happened in Arco Arena, and I think most fans would be amenable to a nostalgic approach to the naming of the arena. However, it could become confusing because many people still refer to the Kings current home as “Arco” and because, in recent years, Arco has been more often associated with words like “dilapidated,” “suboptimal,” and “outdated” than “Feel the Roar.”
The fitness club is a Kings sponsor and the name is a mouthful of alliteration. Although, would 24 Hour Fitness founder and Kings minority owner Mark Mastrov be okay with naming the arena after a rival fitness center? I’m guessing not, although 24-Hour Fitness and California Family Fitness aren’t exactly in close competition, considering that 24-Hour Fitness is the largest privately owned fitness chain in the country and California Family Fitness only serves the Greater Sacramento Region. I think the name sounds great!
Donut King Dome
While this one is my favorite, it probably would not be appropriate because the arena, based on early mockups, will probably not literally be a dome shaped building. Also, Donut King is the name of the largest Donut company in Australia, and yet there are numerous doughnut shops in California that also have the name Donut King. I’m very confused as to how that all works, and it’s very unlikely that this name would ever come close to happening. However, I like it because it sounds cool and because King Dome sounds like Kingdom.
Dunkin’ Donuts Dome
To continue with the theme of naming the arena after a doughnut company, I would be equally thrilled if Dunkin’ Donuts made a bid for the naming rights. Because, you know, dunkin’ and basketballs.
Pizza Guys Palace (idea from @callmemrssachs)
Who doesn’t love the Pizza Guys commercials? They are a Kings Sponsor and it would make it seem like the Arena belonged to Isaiah Thomas, because, as we all know, he is a Pizza Guy.
Burger King Palace
It would just be cool to have a company with “King” in the name, and Palace just because that’s where kings typically reside.
The Sacramento Bee Center.
The Sacramento Bee has one of the most unique names for a newspaper in the country, and the national exposure of attaching their name to the arena would be really cool for the paper.
Sentinent Jet Center
Sentinent Jet is a Kings Sponsor, the words “sentinent” and “center” go together well and there would always the chance that people would think you were saying “Jet-setter” instead of “Jet Center,” when referring to the arena, which would be awesome.
Pride Industries Pavillion
Pride Industries is one of the top 20 private companies in Sacramento. Having the word “pride” in your arenas name has got to be a dream come true for any NBA coach. Perfect fodder for locker room speeches about protecting home court and accountability and whatnot.
Flyers Energy Center
Flyers Energy is the fifth-largest Sacramento-based company. Flyers Energy is perfect fit for an arena with a basketball team as its anchor-tenant. All of the “highflyers” in the league will want to bring their “energy” to Sacramento.
Sutter Health Center
Sutter Health is the biggest private company in Sacramento, and while the name doesn’t really strike fear in anyone’s hearts, it would be an appropriate company to partner with the Kings.
Anyway, that’s what I came up with. Let me know your ideas in the comments or on Twitter!