The Sacramento City Council is greasing the skids, so to speak, on the downtown arena project. The project can now start moving faster.

The Sacramento City Council, as expected, is suspending standard competitive bidding rules for the downtown arena project in an effort to speed things up and meet deadlines in an agreement with the Kings organization.

For the Kings' part, team president Chris Granger says this also allows the team -- acting as the general contractor on the project -- to avoid just going with the lowest bidder and focus on local businesses.

"So as you saw, we're going to have at least 60 percent of our biddable business go to local businesses and 20 percent will go to small businesses here," Granger said. 

Last night's vote doesn't mean there will be no competitive bids at all, it just provides an additional option.

Granger says plans are already in the works to position local companies to bid successfully on projects involved with the arenas construction.

"As you've heard, we're also going to create sort of an advisory council, that will help us with outreach, help us with recruiting, help us with advertising, help us prep local small businesses for the bidding process. So we're off to a good start," Granger said. 

Assistant City Manager John Dangberg told the council the move was necessary to meet deadlines agreed to in the term sheet between the City, the Kings and the NBA.

Sacramento City Manager John Shirey spoke to Ed and Amy on the Morning News about the council's vote and what's next for the arena project. Listen: