The move is designed to help the project meet construction deadlines set up by the NBA.
Before the vote, council members heard from people on both sides of the issue, including Craig Powell, a critic of the arena financing plan.
"I call on every member of this city council to publicly pledge that you have no intention of consumating that bond sale before the people have a right to vote on June 3rd, provided this thing is qualified."
That "thing" he's referring to is an effort by arena opponents to but the project up for a public vote.
But City Councilman Steve Hansen said keeping the project on track is important.
"Let's keep working hard on this. There's still so much to do and there's a lot of uncertainty. While we have a lot of questions to resolve around community benefits and these other things, we've got a long road. Let's not undermine the project as we go forward. We have a lot of time to refine these answers."
Officials with the Kings say the exemption will also help the team meet its goals for the number of local and small businesses that would be involved in building a new downtown arena. The Kings want at least 60% of the arena work to be done by businesses based in the Sacramento area and 20% by small businesses, figures Councilwoman Angelique Ashby liked hearing.
"I'm excited that this project allows us to do that local component in a real way, in a tangible way and in a very big way for Sacramento. This is about saying to our local chambers, to our local businesses 'you're in and we're going to find a way.'"
The council voted 7-2 in favor of suspending the competitive bidding process.
The Sacramento Kings have released an updated work plan for the new downtown Sacramento arena than had been released before.
A judge has ruled a lawsuit over a non-binding term sheet between the City of Sacramento and the Sacramento Kings is without merit. But, the judge says the plaintiffs may amend the lawsuit to target the recently-approved arena project.
A new Sacramento arena hasn't been built yet, but the team is already selling the arena experience in a new office downtown.
The council voted 7-2 Tuesday night in favor of the new arena project. Many of the people who spoke against the arena project at the city council meeting have gone to court to try to undo the council's decision.
The City of Sacramento is preparing for as many as 900 people to attend tonight's city council meeting. The Sacramento Kings will ask for permission to begin the construction phase of a new downtown arena.
The Sacramento Kings and Mayor Kevin Johnson have formed an advisory council to provide updates about the progress of the downtown arena project.
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