by Rick Boone

NATOMAS (CBS13) — The Sleep Train Arena will likely be turned into a field hospital, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

They plan to set up 360 hospital beds to treat coronavirus patients and regular trauma care patients.

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“I think right now in Sacramento we’re looking around 360 [beds], some of those are COVID, some of those are non-COVID. That’s just in what’s called a Sleep Train Arena out in California where we’ve been asked to look. And again, we’re mainly doing this city-by-city. As much as the governor makes a list, my guys are calling back saying ‘here’s what this one city talks about,'” said Army Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, commanding general and chief engineer of the Army Corps of Engineers.

Governor Newsom expects the state will need 50,000 extra hospital beds for possible coronavirus patients.


The city and Mayor Darrell Steinberg said they are working closely with the state on every possible option, but would not confirm if Sleep Train Arena is one of those sites.

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Steinberg and Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby released the following statement Friday afternoon: “We are working closely with the state on every possible option to increase hospital bed capacity as needed. There have not been any decisions made on any specific site.”

The Sacramento Kings currently own the arena and have not yet commented on the plans to convert it into a field hospital.

A few residents CBS13 spoke with support the idea but some are not in favor of doctors treating hundreds of coronavirus patients near their homes.

“It’s scary, I don’t know – it’s kinda scary,” said a mom of three. 

She says her heart goes out to anyone dealing with the coronavirus, but she’s concerned at the thought of bringing infected patients to her area.

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“It’s helpful for them, but at the same time, we have a lot of kids,” she said.