University releases contingency plans and schedules if Golden 1 Center becomes unavailable

For the first time in 17 years the Sacramento Kings are poised to land a position in the NBA Playoffs. Depending on their success in the series, prospective Sacramento State graduates and their families may have to change their plans when it comes to 2023 commencement times and location.


“The Sacramento Kings are on the verge of breaking their 16-year playoff drought,” said University president Robert S. Nelsen in message to students and parents Monday. “While this accomplishment is a cause for celebration, it also presents uncertainty about our plans to hold commencement at Golden 1 Center,” 

Plans for Sacramento State’s graduation ceremonies could change depending on how far the Kings advance in the playoffs. 


The university’s graduation ceremonies are scheduled at various times from May 19 to May 21 at the Golden 1 Center.  Should the Kings advance in the playoffs to reach the coveted Western Conference Finals, the Golden 1 Center may no longer be available as the National Basketball Association takes priority over any other use of the facility upon a conflict. 

University staff is already making plans if such a scenario should take place. If Golden 1 Center becomes unavailable due to the forecasted playoff schedule, plans are already in place to move ceremonies to the school’s own Hornet Stadium under an adjusted schedule for different departments. 


Currently, ceremonies are scheduled from May 19 to May 21 at the Golden 1 Center.  Ceremonies at Golden 1 on the 19th and 20th are scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. An additional ceremony will be held on the 21st at 8:30 a.m.


According to the university, if there is a venue change the dates won’t change, but some of the scheduling will to accommodate stadium capacity and possible hot weather conditions. 

“If Golden 1 Center is unavailable on any of the days that we have ceremonies scheduled, or on our setup day, we will be forced to shift all ceremonies to Hornet Stadium,” Nelsen said. “Setting up for Commencement takes a tremendous amount of time and effort, and we cannot do setups at two venues.” 


Should ceremonies move to Hornet Stadium, Sac State’s contingency schedule has two ceremonies taking place on each of the three days with one starting in the morning and another at night. The school was previously advised to avoid scheduling outdoor ceremonies in the afternoon due to possible heat concerns. However, if they do move outside they will take place rain or shine.

The contingency schedule for May 19 and May 21 has ceremonies starting at 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. The ceremonies on May 20 are slated for 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. The breakdown of departments being commenced in the contingency plan can be found HERE. 

The latest that the final decision will be made is at the conclusion of the NBA Western Conference Semifinals,” added Nelson. “Which we estimate will be no later than May 14. If the Kings are eliminated from the playoffs at any time before the NBA Western Conference Finals, we will proceed with our plans to host Commencement at Golden 1 Center using the originally posted schedule.”

The breakdown of departments being commenced in the original Golden 1 Center plan can be found HERE.

Nelson noted that if a venue change does occur, it will not affect the number of tickets for attendees.

Should the Sacramento Kings make the NBA finals, one scheduled ceremony could also be affected for UC Davis that has also moved its commencement to the arena. At this time, UC Davis has not announced a proposed contingency plan should that occur. 

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Bill Sullivan
Author: Bill Sullivan

Bill Sullivan has over 25 years of professional journalism and content creation experience in which he has earned 37 professional awards. He is the co-founder/publisher of Folsom Times an All Town Media LLC product.