The Sacramento Kings got the green light from the NBA on Wednesday to build their new $477 million arena, setting the stage for preliminary demolition to begin early Friday at Downtown Plaza.

The league's advisory/finance committee, consisting of 10 team owners, approved the Kings' loan terms and lease arrangement with the city of Sacramento, Kings president Chris Granger said. With the NBA's approval in hand, the team expected to close on a loan with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and have the first installment of its money wired late Wednesday or early Thursday.

Granger said work would begin at 6 a.m. Friday.

The building, a replacement for aging Sleep Train Arena, is scheduled to open in October 2016. "I feel very confident that we remain on schedule," Granger said.

  • Former commissioner David Stern praised the NBA's handling of the Donald Sterling controversy and predicts it will "end well" for the league. Stern said his successor, Adam Silver, has been "forceful" but also "demonstrated a compassionate side" in his reaction to the racist remarks that were made by the Los Angeles Clippers owner.

    Motor sports

    Greg Ives, who was shipped over to Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Nationwide Series team at the end of 2012 to gain his first experience as crew chief, was chosen by Hendrick Motorsports as Steve Letarte's replacement with NASCAR's most popular driver. Letarte will move to an analyst role with NBC Sports and Ives will move from JR Motorsports to crew chief for Earnhardt.


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    College

    A report on the NCAA and its member institutions shows fewer women holding jobs in college sports and only a small improvement in racial diversity. The report, released by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, gave college sports a B grade for racial hiring practices and a C-plus for gender hiring.

    Soccer

    Simon Mignolet saved two penalty kicks, and Lucas Leiva scored in the fourth round to lift Liverpool past Manchester City after they tied 2-2 in an International Champions Cup game at Yankee Stadium in front of 49,653 fans.

  • Lee Nguyen had a goal and an assist, and the New England Revolution beat the Colorado Rapids 3-0 in MLS play to end an eight-game losing streak. ... Thierry Henry scored on a shot to the lower right corner in the 57th minute to help New York rally for a 1-1 tie with Real Salt Lake. ... Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson made a second-half save to preserve the Fire's 0-0 tie with Vancouver.

    Tennis

    Rafael Nadal withdrew from U.S. Open tuneups in Toronto and Cincinnati because of a right wrist injury, putting in doubt his status for a title defense at the year's last Grand Slam tournament. The second-ranked Nadal plays left-handed, but he uses a two-handed backhand.

  • Two-time runner-up John Isner was beaten in his opening match at the Citi Open in Washington, then complained that he and fellow American Steve Johnson played on a secondary court instead of in the main stadium. The fifth-seeded and 12th-ranked Isner failed to earn a single break point and lost to the 68th-ranked Johnson 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (6), despite hitting 29 aces.

    Horse racing

    Del Mar has made changes to its Polytrack and turf course after nine horse deaths in the first nine days of its summer meeting. Wax was added to its Polytrack, which has been very fast, resulting in track records even from a claiming horse.

    The Associated Press and Los Angeles Times contributed to this report.