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NEW HOME APPROVED FOR LAKERS, KINGS

The Los Angeles City Council formally approved the development of a $300 million downtown sports and entertainment arena that will be home to the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings.

The 22,000-seat arena, to be built by the Kings' owners, is expected to open in October 1999.

"Now all we have to do is perform," Los Angeles Arena Co. president John Semcken said after the 12-1 vote.

Before any construction begins, Semcken said financing needs to be worked out for the building and an environmental lawsuit filed by a coalition of residents who live near the site needs to be resolved.

Demolition of the Convention Center's North Hall would begin in late January if there are no problems with financing, Semcken said.

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