Old Sleep Train Arena Turning Into COVID19 Hospital

By Marilyn Nelson on March 27, 2020
(Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

Since the Sacramento King’s moved downtown into the Golden 1 Center, the Sleep Train Arena in Natomas has pretty much just been sitting empty. Now, they’re considering turning into a temporary 360-bed coronavirus hospital.

According to SacBee.com the Army Corps of Engineers is looking at plans to convert Sleep Train Arena into a “field hospital”. The hospital would reportedly treat people who are suffering from coronavirus and also people who are suffering from traumas. It’s an effort to help ease our local hospitals from being overwhelmed.

Army Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, commanding general and chief engineer of the Army Corps of Engineers was at first skeptical. The Corps did not believe it could create two separate, isolated areas within a large event center.

“…what my guys are telling me is that it’s going to be COVID in one portion and non-COVID in the other,” Semonite said. “I did not think we could meet the COVID standard in a massive big building,” he said. “But my engineers are telling me we think we’ve got the capability to do that.”

Previously the Corps had been considering considering converting hotel rooms into hospital rooms, but shifted the idea to arenas. The new strategy avoids delays around signing leases with each hotel while the demand for beds rapidly increases. 

However, no difinitive decisions have been made yet.

Sacramento Mayor Darryl Steinberg said, “We are working closely with the state on every possible option to increase hospital bed capacity as needed. There have not yet been any decisions made on any specific site.”


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