The Downtown Plaza must come down in order for the new arena to go up.

The countdown to demolition of the Downtown Plaza is over in Sacramento, and Mayor Kevin Johnson could hardly contain his excitement. 

Johnson, along with other city officials and residents, gathered at the site this morning to celebrate the beginning of a new era. 

"We always said this was bigger than basketball," Johnson said.  

Sacramento Presidents Chris Granger also expressed his excitement.

"We're thrilled, as you might imagine. It's been a long time coming, as you know, there have been so many twists and turns throughout this process, but we are proud and humbled to be here today," Granger told KFBK. 

Granger said 100 or so construction workers were on the site on Friday morning. 

The mayor says the city and the Kings are ready to go, but want to be sensitive to the needs of surrounding businesses.

"We want to make sure that we're not disruptive, and that we're as accommodating as possible," Johnson said. 

That includes the workers schedules and the construction traffic, but he calls Friday's symbolic demolition catalytic for the City of Sacramento.

And there's no ruling yet on a last-minute appeal by a citizens' group hoping to stall demolition.

The group filed an appeal yesterday, demanding the Kings prove the NBA will move the team to another city if the arena isn't built by a certain date and urging a thorough environmental review.

The Kings aren't waiting around for the answer.  

Hear Sacramento Kings President Chris Granger's full interview on KFBK this morning: