The Sac State alum behind the world’s smartest arena

When visitors to the new Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento gaze up at the massive, ultra-high-definition scoreboard or effortlessly post a selfie over the wireless network that can handle more than 250,000 Instagram pictures per second, they can thank Ryan Montoya, the chief technology officer for the Sacramento Kings and a proud graduate of Sacramento State’s Executive MBA program.

Montoya’s vision and work have resulted in an arena that has been hailed as one of the world’s smartest and most technologically advanced. His responsibilities with the Kings include providing direction and managing the team’s new technology and innovation strategies to enhance the fan experience and improve the team’s performance.

“We’re not only connecting our fans to each other, but we’re connecting our fans to the city and the city to the world,” he says.

Sacramento State already has made history at Golden 1 Center. In November, the men’s basketball team faced UC Davis in the arena’s first college game. On May 19-20, the facility will be the site of more Sacramento State memories when it hosts the University’s Commencement ceremonies.

Golden 1 Center’s debut last year represented an exciting personal milestone for Montoya. “What an amazing day!” he posted on Sac State’s Instagram (@sacstate) while starting a guest takeover of the account during the center’s opening weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Sharing one photo on Instagram, he wrote, “Golden 1 Center looks even more beautiful at night. I’ve worked on this project for the last three years, and I have never been more #sacramentoproud than today.”

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As the chief technology officer for the Sacramento Kings, Ryan Montoya, seen here in the Kings’ practice facility, is responsible for keeping Golden 1 Center’s state-of-the-art technology infrastructure up and running. (Sacramento State/Jessica Vernone)

Like any good CTO, Montoya was excited to share images of the new center’s state-of-the-art internet infrastructure (“over 1,000 miles of structured cabling and 2,100 gig pipes” with “enough capacity to accommodate 250k Instagrams a second”) and the “world’s largest indoor scoreboard” with the “first ultra HD #4K” hanging over center court of the basketball arena.

A native of Colorado, Montoya received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s in international studies/security from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver before earning his MBA at Sacramento State. He began his career as an aide to President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and two Cabinet secretaries.

He credits the Executive MBA program with helping him to become a smarter and more effective leader.

“I not only learned the framework I needed to be a better person, but I also learned some of the core skills that are needed to take an organization or a company to the next level,” he says.

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