The Sacramento Kings are working with police on a plan to prevent protesters from blocking fans from entering Golden 1 Center, a report says.
For two of the last three games, protesters blocked entrances to the stadium and prevented fans from taking their seats. The demonstrators were protesting over the death of Stephon Clark, a young man who police shot and killed early in March, USA Today reported.
But now the NBA team is working with authorities to prevent such disruptions.
The Sacramento police department says that fans will not be denied access to the stadium again.
“We will be working with the Kings organization to make sure that we have a strategic plan because, obviously, we are concerned about people’s safety,” Sgt. Vance Chandler told the media on Wednesday, March 28.
The Kings released a short statement noting their commitment to the fans.
“We are meeting with Mayor, law enforcement, and community leaders today and are committed to ensuring the safety and security of fans on Thursday and future events. We will continue to provide updates as they become available,” the team said.
The team also promised a “significant police presence” for Thursday’s game against the Indiana Pacers.
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) March 29, 2018
Thursday’s game occurs on the same day as Clark’s public funeral, so protesters will probably be smaller in number, in any case.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg complimented protesters for their non-violent demonstrations and pointed out that only one protester has been arrested thus far.
“We want to respect peaceful protest,” Steinberg said. “The idea is to not provoke and to throw gas on a fire.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.