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Sacramento Downtown Arena Progress Update: Day 72

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Demolition continues as opponents fight environmental review in courts.

Photo by Blake Ellington

Demolition of Downtown Plaza to make way for the new Kings arena is closing in on the final lap.

According to a team spokesperson, we're now within weeks of the end of the demolition process. The next phase, groundbreaking and construction, will begin "immediately after."

The heavy demolition of the building at 560 J Street began this week. When this building is completely leveled, it will leave quite a wide-open space in between J and L Streets, as illustrated here by a photo submitted by a Sactown Royalty reader.

Overhead shot arena

Here is a street-level view of the demolition of the building at 560 J Street.

Street Level
This is a photo taken on J Street looking through to L Street.

J to L

And here is a view from L Street through to J Street.

L to J

The construction team also is removing all of the structural decks of the former Macy's building. The remaining parking decks below will be preserved as part of the new arena.

Here is a look at the old Macy's building (where the building's arch used to be.)

Macy's

Here is what the main entrance of Downtown Plaza looks like these days.

Plaza Sign

Next week, the project will begin mass excavation including soil off-haul. Turner Construction announced yesterday that night time construction work, including sorting debris, cutting steel and light demolition, will be happening this weekend between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. through Monday.

In other arena news, the two lawsuits from the group challenging the city's environmental review have been in the courts recently. The judge involved in the case has already largely discredited the majority of the groups' claims in a tentative ruling, but the judge has expressed concern over one issue brought up - the city's traffic management plan for the new arena.

So what could this mean? Here is Tony Bizjak of The Sacramento Bee.

"The legal fight does not appear to threaten arena construction, which is scheduled to wrap up by October 2016. But if the judge rules that sections of the city's arena environmental impact review do not meet California Environmental Quality Act standards, the city may have to reanalyze those sections, and the Kings could be compelled to spend more on traffic management during arena events and do more to help reduce freeway congestion."

We'll keep you updated on this and also let you know when we hear when the groundbreaking ceremony is expected to take place.

Until then, keep sending us your arena pictures at asksactownroyalty@gmail.com. If you are taking pictures, please make sure to be courteous of the workers and do not access restricted parts of the site or interrupt work that is underway.