‘When they win, we win’: Downtown businesses thrive on Kings success

SACRAMENTO — When the Sacramento Kings win, so does the Enterprise in downtown Sacramento. From 2019 to 2022, Sacramento’s leisure spending figures more than doubled, a sign of the team’s success and the number of events held through the Golden1 Center.

Fans flooded downtown ahead of the Kings’ game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, the first weekend of back-to-back gameday weekends. Before they made it to G1C, they ate dinner at Sauced BBQ & Spirits, Polanco Cantina, or had a drink at Fizz.

The energy of the “light beams” turned into business, said the Fizz’s manager, who said fans inspired bartenders to create “beams,” an alcoholic beverage that changes color to match the lights that shoot into the sky when the Kings win. Purple Light. Customers can order this drink, which arrives dark purple, and watch as the lemon juice turns the butterfly pea tea used in the drink a light purple. Topped with champagne, the drink is $2 off when the Kings win.

Fans packed the bar and outdoor tables on Friday to try this week’s new offering.

“When the Kings win, we win,” Fizz manager Katherine Galster said.

She said they’ve seen a steady uptick in business since the Kings season began. On nights when there are events or concerts, she says they are also busy.

These numbers match the experience shared by Fizz. Downtown leisure spending more than doubled between December 2019 and December 2022, according to Sacramento Downtown Partners Economic Development Director. Leisure spending jumped 209 per cent, driving a business boom in the inner city.

Before the pandemic, pedestrian traffic and busy downtown days were work-related Monday through Friday, but now, the busiest times in and around DOCO are weekends. This change has to do with more events and the success of the Kings.

“We’re seeing that shift, certainly on a commercial level, and we’re seeing some restaurants on K Street offering beam-themed drinks … that’s really exciting,” said Economic Development Director Scott Ford.

The energy around downtown Sacramento is something Downtown Sacramento Partners hopes will drive future growth. With the recent success on the field, businesses and developers want to participate in the off-field success of the Sacramento business, Ford said. He said there were some proposals for new developments that could be traced back to increased leisure spending.

“You hear the beam singing, and it makes all of us proud to be from Sacramento,” Ford said.

Currently, Sacramento is the only NBA city not eligible to host All-Star Weekend, Ford said, because it does not meet the criteria for the number of hotel rooms in a given area. That’s the city’s ultimate next goal, Ford said, of continuing to bring “All-Star”-level action to the NBA and the Kings.

hymns come after friday night Kings beat OKC Thunder. Clearly, “Light the Beam” energy is here to stay.

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