The Sacramento Kings‘ new arena, the Golden 1 Center, will be the first sports pro venue to fully accommodate transgender fans with single-occupancy “all-gender” restrooms, according to a report via The Sacramento Bee‘s Dale Kasler.
Kings owner Vivek Ranadive elaborated on the venue’s progressive decision in a statement on Wednesday:
“We set out to build the most connected and forward-thinking arena in the world because we wanted to ensure the very best fan experience for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The new arena will feature 23 total all-gender restrooms. Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California (one of the nation’s largest statewide LGBT civil rights organizations), applauded the Kings in a statement:
“The Sacramento Kings are leading not only the NBA, but sports worldwide in building the first arena to ensure transgender fans are fully respected and welcomed … We commend the Sacramento Kings, and we are hopeful they are the first of many franchises to provide accommodations for all fans.”
“All-gender” bathroom facilities have been a controversial topic on state legislatures’ floors this year, and the impact has been felt in the sports world. The NBA pulled the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte after North Carolina lawmakers passed and refused to amend “House Bill 2”, which, among other things, mandated that transgender people must use the bathrooms that correspond to their “biological sex”, not their gender identity.