The Sacramento Kings ownership group has hired Turner Construction to build the planned arena at Downtown Plaza, the team announced today.
Turner Construction is the firm building Levi's Stadium, the new facility for the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara. Turner also built the new Terminal B at Sacramento International Airport.
Kings president Chris Granger, who began his duties in Sacramento on Monday, said Turner is "the best in the business."
"We have a world-class team with great experience building the best venues in sports," Granger said.
Dale Koger, vice president of Turner's sports division, said key personnel working on Levi's Stadium will transfer to the Sacramento arena project when the football stadium is complete. Levi's Stadium is scheduled to be finished next August and city officials in Sacramento are planning to break ground on the new Kings arena around the same time.
"I think this project will energize the downtown area and add tremendous vitality to the state capital," Koger said in a phone interview.
Granger said he has spent his first two days in Sacramento meeting with team executives and members of the ownership group. The Kings are also in the process of interviewing architectural firms to help design the new arena.
Granger said he was aware of a petition drive underway to place a measure on the June 2014 ballot that, if passed, would require voter approval of public subsidies of sports facilities. But he shied away from criticizing the campaign.
"Sacramento is an important city and it deserves an important space," he said.
Mayor Kevin Johnson wasn't as reserved when asked about the same topic earlier today.
"At the end of the day, I'm hearing from many more people who are actually perturbed by the people who are trying to gather signatures," the mayor said. "So there's this organic battle going on between what I believe is the majority of people who want to see Sacramento take a step forward and a few folks who want to block it."