Miles from Sacramento, pieces of future arena coming together

Panels for the 49ers Stadium in Santa Clara, each 23,000 pounds
Panels for the 49ers Stadium in Santa Clara, each 23,000 pounds

The precast concrete walls forming the bowl of the new downtown Sacramento arena are a couple months away from the project site. But they’re already in production.

Representatives from the Sacramento Kings and Clark Pacific gave media a first-hand look Monday at the assembly process for the panels, at Clark Pacific’s Woodland plant.

“We’re all home-grown Sacramentans, based up here in Yolo County,” said company owner Bob Clark. “To have this be a local signature job, our employees take a ton of pride in that.”

The panels, each 23,000 pounds, will form the upper and lower bowl, suites and interior walls for the arena. Each is 30 to 38 feet long, but for future arena-goers, the panels will largely be the backdrop to seats bolted into them.

Panel production, one of about five ongoing projects at the Woodland plant, requires eight people per panel and 40 employees total, said Matt Engleking, an assistant project manager.

Engleking and other Clark Pacific project managers explained how every panel goes through a number of inspections during precast. Those inspections, which include marking a diagram with yellow as a quality assurance inspector sees that the panel meets certain criteria, are critical for future performance.

“There’s a lot of quality steps in place,” Engleking said. On nights when fans are stomping their feet for a Kings game, or another event, inspections make sure the panels hold up.

Upper bowl panels have to be built more steeply, while lower bowl panels have to have thicker bottoms because of where they’re positioned, he said.

In all, Clark Pacific will build 700 panels for the arena, with most of the work still to come. Crews are building the upper bowl panels now.

Senior project manager Tom Anderson said workers were excited to participate in another high-profile project, the panels for the San Francisco 49ers new stadium in Santa Clara. But because this is even closer, it’s that much more meaningful, he said.

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