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Sacramento City Council Considers Starting Arena Construction

  

The Sacramento Kings will ask for the City Council's blessing tonight to begin the construction phase of a new arena downtown. The City is preparing for a huge turnout for the meeting.

On the one hand, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson says he won't take anything for granted. But on the other hand, he expects this to be a "celebratory day."

"We've done as much as you possibly could have done on the front end to make sure that business and labor and all the key constituents and the taxpayers are protected. We've done that."

Throughout the arena process, the majority of people speaking at council meetings have supported the $477 million project. But, a minority has opposed any public financing for an arena. Two groups failed in a bid to put an arena financing plan before voters.

There's still opposition to the arena. Two groups who didn't want public money to finance the arena failed in their bids to take the issue to voters.

And advocates for the poor have concerns that low-income residents my be displaced by the project. Darryl Rutherford is with the Sacramento Housing Alliance:

"We're concerned that as development of the arena moves forward that lower income residents won't have the opportunity to live in safety, decent affordable house," Rutherford says.

An equal number of tickets for those on both sides will be reserved. Council chambers seats 200 people. The City has prepared for an additional 700 people. The meeting starts at 6 o'clock.

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