Sacramento Kings
Sacramento push for new Kings arena continues
This new arena stuff is taking a while to materialize

Eight local legislators joined Friday to back a bill to shield Sacramento’s downtown arena plan from lengthy litigation that could cause the building to miss a tight, NBA-imposed deadline for opening.

The 11th-hour effort, championed by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, would speed up the judicial process for handling environmental lawsuits, limit the courts’ ability to stop construction, and add mediation to the mix.

Steinberg, who promised the league in New York this spring he’d help shepherd the arena project through the state’s often lengthy environmental process, said the bill keeps the arena on a fast track to open in 2016.

NBA officials have said they are willing to give Sacramento an extra year, but Commissioner David Stern has warned that the league reserves the right to force the team to move to a new city if the project lags.

Reported by Tony Bizjak of theĀ Sacramento Bee