By a 7-2 vote, the Sacramento City Council agreed Tuesday night to join the Sacramento Kings in negotiating with the owner of the Macy's furniture and men's clothing store at the Downtown Plaza over the purchase of the soon-to-be vacant property.

The property is needed for the Kings to build a proposed $448 million arena at the mall.

The city's involvement allows them to negotiate under the threat of seizing control through eminent domain.

"By acting today, we'll assure the project stays on schedule," said City Manager John Shirey.

The goal is to open the arena for the 16-17 NBA season.