Judge Timothy Frawley told attorneys the intent of the people committing the violations is not important in the case.
City Attorney James Sanchez stopped short of celebrating the judge's tentative rulings.
"We feel very confident that the judge will consider all of the things we have raised and we're looking forward to his decision."
STOP attorney Bradley Hertz essentially waved the white flag in court asking for a final ruling as soon as possible.
"If the ruling is as the judge hinted, and we believe there are grounds for appeal it would be an emergency writ to the Third District Court of Appeal and they've been known to act quickly in the past when there's a pre-election deadline."
STOP has until February 27th to get a measure before the City Council and on the June ballot.
The judge says he will issue a final ruling next week.
An A+ and A rating allowed the City of Sacramento to offer more than $270 million in bonds to help pay for the city's share of the new Golden 1 Center arena downtown.
While the outside of the new downtown arena takes shape, preliminary foundation work has begun for the new hotel next to the arena.
A company headquartered in China, but that was once based near Sacramento has been selected by the Sacramento Kings to install solar panels on the new arena.
Work has begun on a new bridge over Interstate 5 in Sacramento.
Three Sacramento residents have dropped their lawsuit against the city for allegedly providing "secret subsidies" to the Kings' arena.