The Sacramento City Council has approved an investment group's proposal to build a new arena in the city, voting 7-2 in favor of the arena plan last night, according to the Associated Press (link via USA Today). The proposal calls for the city to contribute $258MM to a new arena for the Kings, with another $190MM coming from a group that includes Mark Mastrov, Ron Burkle, Vivek Ranadive, and Paul Jacobs.
While the step is an important one in Sacramento's quest to keep the Kings, it wasn't unexpected, since the city approved an arena plan by the same 7-2 margin a year ago before the Maloofs backed out of the agreement. As Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets, the Sacramento and Seattle groups will now receive an opportuntity to make a case for their respective bids to the NBA's Board of Governors on April 3rd. The Board of Governors is then expected to make a decision on the Kings' future later in April.
As for the Kings bid, ESPN.com's Marc Stein and NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper share a pair of updates on that front. Stein hears from one league insider that Sacramento is "gaining momentum" toward keeping the Kings (Twitter link), and that the value of the group's offer has kept "climbing and climbing" since commissioner David Stern suggested it wasn't high enough (Twitter link).
Meanwhile, Howard-Cooper reports (via Twitter) that Ranadive is expected to be the general partner and the No. 1 voice of the ownership group, should the Kings remain in Sacramento. As Howard-Cooper points out in a second tweet, that's not a huge surprise, since Ranadive was unlikely to give up his minority stake in the Warriors for a similar role with the Kings.