Aug 1, 2018

Golden 1 Center Q&A: Director, Engineering Ron Callahan

By Sydney Zuelke

Tell us a little bit about what your main responsibilities are as Director of Engineering.

Engineering is responsible for the buildings mechanics which include: heating, ventilation, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, lighting, fire systems, and emergency power.

What’s the most rewarding part and challenging part of your job?

Having a building run so smoothly that allows our guests the best experience.

What does a typical day look like for you versus an event day?

A typical day for me is arriving around 6:30 am, which can be very cool because no one else is in the arena, it is dark and quiet. I usually have meetings with my chief engineers to discuss projects and plans, and walk a few floors making lists of items that need to be repaired. However, since we are a dynamic arena, every day is different depending on concerts, games, live events, and dark days (like solar days). My main goal is to keep the arena running and provide our guests with an amazing experience.

What has been the most difficult or most rewarding project you have been a part of at Golden 1 Center?

Our solar days have been an amazing journey. Our goal was to generate more power on our roof than actually used in the arena based on a 24-hour period. We partnered with all teams that work within the arena to make this happen. We have had 3 days so far where we have succeeded and generated more than we consumed! It’s really about how we can reduce the energy usage in the arena and be a great partner with SMUD.

In what ways do you think Golden 1 Center is unique in innovation aspects?

There are so many great things about G1C. First are the things that guests don’t see that make us so innovative. Our HVAC system, our solar systems and plans, the Wi-Fi and cellular bandwidth. Our arena team is the best in the industry. 

How does Golden 1 Center differ compared to other arenas around the country?

We are the most innovative. We were the first with a LEED Platinum arena. This certification looks at the building's “green” systems, water, energy conservation and even outside the arena with public transportation.

Do you have a most memorable moment during an event at the arena? 

Mine hasn’t happened yet. My wife’s birthday happens to be the same night as Fleetwood Mac. She is a huge fan so I got her some amazing seats. We are going to make it a great weekend getaway!

What has been your favorite concert or event you have attended at Golden 1 Center?

For me it was PBR (Professional Bull Riding). I am a country boy at heart!