While the Sacramento Convention Center undergoes a major expansion — expected to be completed in fall 2020 — as part of the city’s downtown renaissance, there are plenty of other unique venues planners can take advantage of in the area. Whether it’s hosting a cocktail reception among the memorabilia at the Aerospace Museum of California or an awards ceremony on home plate at Sutter Health Park Field (formerly Raley Field), the Sacramento area offers outside-the-box venues for events of all sizes.
Just six blocks from the convention center, the new Golden 1 Center — home of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings — is an ideal venue for large meetings, expos, and live performances. In the heart of Downtown Commons, or DOCO, Golden 1 Center is surrounded by 1.5 million square feet of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Attendees can get a drink at Punch Bowl Social or enjoy lunch between event sessions at Sauced BBQ & Spirits. DOCO is also home to a brand-new boutique Kimpton Sawyer Hotel, a great alternative venue for private events, or a great spot for attendees who want to be in the center of it all.
Less than five miles from downtown in Point West Marketplace, the Cal Expo — home of the California State Fair every summer — offers planners 350 acres of multifaceted, indoor/outdoor space. Surrounding the expo center are hotels with a total of 1,600 guest rooms, the Arden Fair mall, plus many dining and entertainment options like Raging Waters theme park. It’s a good place for delegates to stretch their legs in between meetings, with expertly landscaped grounds to explore.
For planners looking for more unique or boutique options, Sacramento has plenty of museums, theaters, and sporting arenas to choose from. Connected to the Sacramento Convention Center — and open during the renovations — is the Memorial Auditorium, a 3,850-seat venue that can accommodate events ranging from concerts to award ceremonies to cocktail hours. On the National Register of Historic Places, the building features many architectural design elements that give it a truly one-of-a-kind feel.
At Sutter Health Park Field — home of the Sacramento River Cats Minor League Baseball team — planners can get attendees outside. Built on the site of old warehouses and rail yards in West Sacramento, the ballpark is directly across the Sacramento River from the California State Capitol, adjacent to downtown. In addition to ball games, the venue can host opening receptions and memorable networking events.
For more interactive educational environments — in addition to the Aerospace Museum of California in North Highlands — there are the California State Railroad Museum, featuring 21 meticulously restored locomotives and cars; the California Automobile Museum, offering 72,000 square feet of space, including a collection of more than 150 classic cars, race cars, muscle cars, and early models; and the Crocker Art Museum, the oldest art museum west of the Mississippi River.
Whether you’re looking for an immersive educational experience or more hands-on fun, Sacramento has a venue for every event.