There was nothing preliminary about what the Sacramento City Council did Tuesday night.

By a 7-2 vote, the council agreed to set aside $6.5 million in public funding on a new downtown arena for the Sacramento Kings – the first large investment in a facility that city officials have touted as the most significant redevelopment project in the history of downtown.

The decision was the first push forward on a preliminary, nonbinding plan approved by the council in March to help finance a $448 million arena at the Downtown Plaza. That term sheet will not be formalized until the City Council votes on a final spending plan next year, following the conclusion of an environmental review of the arena project.

Still, Tuesday’s vote means the City Manager’s Office will immediately have $1.755 million to spend on a team of consultants as the intense predevelopment stage of the project begins. The remaining $4.7 million would be used on the arena’s eventual design and construction.

Reported by Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee