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The preliminary drawings for the new SoDo basketball arena were revealed on Friday.
The legendary Lakers guard gives a glowing endorsement to return the NBA to the city of Seattle.
David Stern helped strip Seattle of the Sonics five years ago, but now he is trying to put a team back in one of the NBA's best markets before he retires.
Stern, 70, will retire exactly 30 years after taking on the role.
The King County Council unanimously approved the new Seattle arena plan, 9-0, while the Seattle City Council approved it by a 7-2 margin.
Edmonton Oilers officials are in Seattle for meetings on Monday, a prepared statement from the team said. They say they are exploring their options just 24 months before the expiration of the teams' lease at Rexall Place.
The Oilers have been in negotiations with the city of Edmonton for some time now over the building of a new downtown arena. Owner Daryl Katz has hinted before that the team might not remain in Edmonton if a new arena isn't built, and did so once again in the released statement attributed to Bob Black, Executive Vice President of the Katz Group.
"I can confirm that Daryl Katz, Patrick LaForge, Kevin Lowe and others from the Oilers leadership group are in Seattle for meetings and to attend the Seahawks game.
We remain committed to working with City Administration to achieve a deal commensurate with what Winnipeg and Pittsburgh have done to sustain the NHL in those small markets. If we can achieve such a deal, the Oilers will remain in Edmonton and we can get on with the important work of developing the new arena and investing in the continued revitalization of Edmonton's downtown core.
Nonetheless, and as the City of Edmonton is aware, the Katz Group has been listening to proposals from a number of potential NHL markets for some time. After more than four years of trying to secure an arena deal and with less than 24 months remaining on the Oilers' lease at Rexall Place, this is only prudent and should come as no surprise.
We are extremely grateful to Oilers' fans for their patience and loyalty as we work through this process towards what we sincerely hope will be a long and successful future for the Oilers in Edmonton. We have no further comment on the status of our discussions with other markets at this time."
Seattle meanwhile is hot on the heels of a new agreement between investor Chris Hansen and the city council, to build a new arena to lure an NBA team back to Seattle. Hansen has often talked of the possibility of the arena housing an NHL team as well, but it isn't something the investor is interested in owning.
Katz, Patrick La Forge and Kevin Lowe were all seen taking a tour of Key Arena and are later attending Monday's game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks. Key Arena has been used to house minor league hockey seasons before, and also remains a possible final destination in the more immediate future.
This story originally appeared on SBNation.com.
Chris Hansen might have a potential suitor for NHL relocation in the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers appear to be dissatisfied with current management. Our Edmonton SB Nation site The Copper & Blue has more on the situation, which seems to be demanding that the city stand up for a new downtown arena or management will consider relocation once the current lease expires.
Coupled with the stories that are starting to trickle out of Seattle on Monday, naturally some rumors are popping up today about the Oilers potentially flirting with Seattle. According to Dave Mahler at KJR Radio, the team president and owner of the Oilers were in the city on Monday touring Key Arena. Additionally, former Oiler legend Wayne Gretzky is apparently in Seattle and will be visiting with Hansen sometime tonight.
An arena will probably take a few years to develop, but the Oilers are still a few years away from considering relocation. At the very least, it's looking like there is genuine interest in placing an NHL team in Seattle by at least one ownership group.
This story originally appeared on SBNation.com.
The Seattle City Council has approved legislation for Chris Hansen's arena plan. The plan will bring a new arena to the city, one that can hopefully bring new suitors for NBA and NHL teams. The final vote was 6-2, with six in favor of moving ahead on the proposal.
The vote will allow for the construction of a $490 million arena near the stadiums of the Seahawks and the Mariners, both of which are currently located in the SoDo district south of downtown. $200 million of public investment will be needed to get the project done.
The King County Council will still have to approve the plan and an environmental review is needed before the arena can move forward. But this thumbs up on the proposal will allow Hansen to proceed in finding either a potential NBA team that's willing to move and replace the Seattle Sonics after they left in the 2008 regular season, or possibly the first-ever NHL team in Seattle's history.
This story originally appeared on SBNation.com.
Sports fans in Seattle have long awaited the return of the NBA franchise they lost, the Seattle Sonics, and Thursday's decision by a city council committee moved that dream a step closer toward realization.
The Seattle City Council's Government Performance and Finance Committee voted unanimously to approve a revised version of the proposal to build a new arena in the SoDo area of the city -- near Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field.
The vote paves the way for the actual city council to rule on the agreement on Sept. 24. If it passes, Seattle will get a new basketball and hockey arena through which to attract an NBA and NHL franchise.
Most folks in the Emerald City expect the city council to rule in the fans' favor, so Chris Hansen, a Seattle native who is the main investor for the new arena project, can now begin shopping for tenants.
For more on Seattle's new sports arena, make sure to follow this StoryStream.
The city of Seattle officially confirmed Monday's reports of Chris Hansen reaching an agreement to build an arena that would be home to a new NBA team. Three Seattle City Council members announced the news on Tuesday, including Councilman Mike O'Brien.
The original agreement between the city and Hansen's group said Seattle would agree to contribute $200 million of public funding to the project. But on Tuesday, the City Council said the updated agreement includes several protections aimed to mitigate the deal's risk to the city. One such change is that Hansen could be forced to either buy the arena after 30 years or tear it down.
O'Brien says in 30 years if team decides to move, City can force Hansen to tear down arena and leave city with land as asset. Another wow.— Dave Softy Mahler (@Softykjr) September 11, 2012
A revised memorandum of understanding showed that Hansen -- who has acquired land near the Seattle Seahawks' CenturyLink Field and the Seattle Mariners' Safeco Field -- has made changes to benefit the city's infrastructure. The changes reflect a promise to insure taxpayers that their money was being spent thoughtfully.
Also included in the revisions were $40 million slated to be spent on transportation infrastructure and a commitment by Hansen's group to help with renovations and upkeep of Key Arena, the former home of the Seattle SuperSonics.
Though the land would have to undergo an environmental review before the building of an arena could begin, only a vote now stands in the way of Hansen having the go-ahead to tell the NBA that Seattle is ready for a professional basketball team, CBS Sports reports.
For more on the Seattle arena developments, head over to SB Nation's NBA hub.
The Seattle City Council seems to have finally agreed tentatively to a Sodo project that would be the site of a new basketball arena. Lynn Thompson of Seattle Times has the initial report. Also, KING 5's Chris Daniel's - who has been in front of this story from Day 1, has this report.
The deal will assuage concerns from the city's industries in the Port and manufacturing sectors. There will be improved roads to help out Seattle Port container operations along with railway lines and truck activity, all of which will be funded by Hansen's group. $40 million of the tax revenue would go into these infrastructure improvements, inluding an overhaul of KeyArena.
There have been plenty of arena holdups by the city council, many of which have to deal with public financing and potential industrial issues. Citizens of Seattle seem to also desire an arena that privately financed.
There have been issues also with how this deal would satisfy Initiative 91, where it's required that the city needs to profit off a sports facility, something that wouldn't be totally guaranteed by the new arena. The new deal seems to solve most of these problems, where the city would be able to move forward with pertinent upgrades in the city's facilities and transportation.
For more on Seattle's new sports arena, make sure to follow this StoryStream.
According to a report from the Hampton Roads Business Journal the Sacramento Kings are in talks about a possible relocation to Virginia Beach, VA, meaning they could leave the Seattle area out in the cold.
Meetings have reportedly been scheduled in Virginia Beach on Tuesday to discuss moving the team to the Old Dominion State. Media giant Comcast will help to build and lease out the new sports arena, according to the report, and will guarantee a 25-year lease on a new arena, apparently for naming and broadcasting rights. An announcement of the move could come as soon as Aug. 29.
There have been some conflicting reports though as Kings part-owner Joe Maloof told CBS Sacramento "We haven't talked to Virginia Beach," while a team spokesman noted the team will not comment "on every rumor" nor would they discuss what cities they are in talks with, meaning Seattle could still be in the running to land the Kings.
The Maloof family and the city of Sacramento could not agree on a proposed $391 million entertainment complex a few months back, leaving the family to look elsewhere for a home for the Kings.
After what figured to be a straightforward march to a new NBA arena, the city of Seattle has stepped up to try and halt production on this new project. How far will they go? It looks as if the project could very well be forestalled if the City Council doesn't alter their current positions on the subject. The City Council appears to be very concerned about how much public funding is going into the new arena and whether the city will actually have to provide a lot of public investment that the Sonics will not eventually pay out to the city down the line. These concerns have been repudiated by Chris Hansen, but it appears the City Council seems to be set in its way.
A crucial public hearing appears to be on its way. Find out more information on the meeting via their Facebook event.
Location: Seattle City Hall - 600 Fourth Ave, First floor, Bertha Knight Landes Room.
Time: Thursday, 5 PM
This could be a critical moment for the future of an NBA arena in stadium. One will have to wait and see what exactly happens here.
The NBA in Seattle seems like it could be happening sooner rather than later if a new arena gets constructed. But there is a good possibility that the Seattle City Council could impede development if they don't get the revisions they're looking for in the current deal. The concerns aren't likely to stop the arena from being built, but they could force plenty of delays that forestall the program.
There appear to be two crucial issues that could impede progress on getting the arena moving in the right direciton. One issue is that the city is willing to borrow up to 120 million dollars in bonds, but arena revenue plus rent payments won't be enough to match that, meaning the arena would owe additional rent. The other issue is that if the arena doesn't make money, it would be in violation of Initiative 91, which requires the city make money off of their investment in private sports organization.
We believe the annual return to the City/County is likely to be 8-10%
- This return significantly exceeds the return required by I-91 (30 year Treasury Return)
- This significantly exceeds the return expected by the private investors on the aggregate private capital (over $600 million) required for the project
Using very conservative assumptions, we believe the project will generate an annual return of 7.4% for the City
- Assumes only annual cash flow to the City is the debt service as Ancillary taxes generated merely offset the substitution effect
Assumes Arena is worthless at the end of 30 years, and is sold for raw land value only
Until the City Council agrees to move on this though, the Seattle Arena plan appears to be at an impasse for at least the near future.
Things are looking good for Seattle owners to set up a new arena. The big question is whether they can find the NBA team to become tenants in their new building.
For those hoping for a new team to head Seattle's way, good news might have come via the misfortune of another franchise. The Sacramento Kings have stalled in their arena plans, making their hold on the city even more tenuous.
It's unlikely that the Kings have their eyes up on the North, but the people behind the current Seattle arena plan could be willing to buy the team from the Maloofs at the right price. The NBA seems to be trying to keep the Kings from leaving Sacramento, but the longer no new arena gets built, the tougher that task becomes, and the more promising Seattle looks in trying to acquire them.
Talk about the Sacramento arena plans with Kings fans by heading on over to Sactown Royalty.
Check out the SB Nation NBA YouTube channel below and see if you'd be willing to subscribe to more coverage.
There is little doubt that those living in Seattle would support a new arena to house an NBA and/or NHL franchise, but quite a few members of City Council aren't so sure it would be financially viable. A lot of the money needed to build the proposed arena would come from public funding, which means there are a lot of rules and regulations that must be met in order to meet financial requirements.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has repeatedly said the proposal to build a new Sodo sports arena with $200 million in public financing meets the requirements of Initiative 91, which demands a financial return on any investment of public money.
But several Seattle City Council members aren't convinced an agreement with San Francisco hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen to build a $490 million arena and return professional basketball and hockey to the city would in fact provide such a return.
"If you believe that I-91 requires a fair return on the public investment, this proposal does not do that," said Councilmember Tim Burgess, chair of the Government Performance and Finance Committee, after the hearing to review the 2006 initiative with city budget staff.
Councilmember Nick Licata agreed. "There appears to be a real gap in their argument that we're getting a return on our investment."
And as for Mayor McGinn's response to those doubts from City Council:
After the hearing, McGinn reasserted his view: "The city's investment will be fully repaid, with principal and interest at a rate that exceeds the return on a Treasury note. In addition, the city will own the land and the arena."
There are a ton of working parts to building a new arena of this magnitude, and those in the city of Seattle are seeing first-hand why it is so difficult to bring in an NBA or NHL franchise when there isn't a viable arena already in place.
Those in support of the arena project can only hope the two sides continue working out a deal that would not only reach the financial requirements, but also get something done in the near future.
For all of the latest developments in Seattle, be sure to follow the dedicated SB Nation Seattle StoryStream.
It was recently disclosed that the Nordstrom brothers, Peter and Erik, are now part of the ownership group that is headed by San Francisco hedge-fund manager Christopher Hansen, and aims to bring an NBA, and possibly an NHL franchise back to Seattle. The Nordstroms have been a Seattle fixture for some time, both through their department stores and as former part-owners of the Seahawks and Sonics, and when paired with Steve Ballmer, they represent a solid, local nucleus that could provide stability for a franchise, were one to be available for purchase in the near future.
The Seattle Times caught up with Peter Nordstrom on Tuesday, and the local businessman had some interesting things to say about the possible return of the Sonics, their departure several years ago, the ownership of the Seahawks during the 70's and 80's, and more.
Amy Martinez starts with the most pressing question:
Q: What's your interest in bringing an NBA team back to Seattle?
Nordstrom: I think it's two things. It's a personal interest in the subject. I'm a fan. It was pretty heartbreaking to me when the team left. And it makes me feel badly that the team left while I was involved in it.
If I could be in a position to bring it back, that's something I'm interested in. Beyond that, it just seems like it would be a really good community asset.
For more on the NBA in Seattle and the latest on arena developments, stay right here with the SB Nation Seattle StoryStream of coverage.
The movement for a new NBA and NHL arena in the city of Seattle is gaining steam, and fast.
On the same day that an estimated 6,000-plus fans filled Pioneer Square's Occidental Park for a "Sonics Rally", the Seattle City and King County Councils announced that on July 19th they will hold a special joint public hearing to discussed the proposed arena.
The Seattle City Council and King County Council announced today that they will co-host a joint public hearing on July 19 regarding the proposal for a new multi-purpose arena in SODO. Members of the public are invited to attend and give in-person testimony to City and County councilmembers. Both Councils accept written public comments at any time.
Seattle City Council and King County Council
Public hearing on proposed SODO arena legislation
Thursday, July 19, 5:30 p.m.
Sign-up begins at 5 p.m.
Bertha Knight Landes Room, Seattle City Hall
(600 Fourth Ave, First Floor)
Investor Chris Hansen, and his partners that include Microsoft's Steve Balmer, as well as Pete and Erik Nordstrom, are seeking to bring the NBA and NHL to the city of Seattle by building an arena in the SODO area of town, near Century Link and Safeco Fields. Their plans have been met with some opposition from various places, including those on the city and county councils.
The joint-public hearing is a huge step forward, as it gives the public it's first real opportunity to advocate, or voice their opposition, for the arena to the men and women that they vote into office.
The sonicsarena.com website also has provided numerous ways for supporters of the new arena to contact elected officials.
According to the release from the Seattle.gov website, a vote could occur as early as August 2nd. There are also tentative voting dates scheduled for August 6th and 13th.
Hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen is no longer alone in is quest to bild a state-of-the-art sporting arena in downtown seattle as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer as now thrown his hat in the ring as part of the investment grouplooking to return the NBA and NHL to Seattle.
Ballmer will be part of the investment group for both the building and ownership of the arena as well as the acquisition of an NBA franchise, first announced on the Mitch in the Morning radio show on SportsRadioKJR and according to a letter that Hansen sent to King County Executive Dow Constantineand and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn on Wednesday. Ballmer is a longtime Sonics supporter and was part of a last ditch effort to try and keep them in Seattle. Meanwhile, he and a few other investors proposed renovations to KeyArena.
Also part of the investment group will be Erik and Peter Nordstrom, who's family owned the Seattle Seahawks from 1976-1988. The Nordstrom duo will also invest in both the arena and a franchise.
The project will need about $290 million in private funds and around $200 million more from the city and county through 30-year bonds. Any franchise that comes to Seattle and uses the arena would be required to sign a non-relocation agreement that would last for the life of those bonds.
The city of Seattle desperately wants to bring an NBA franchise back to town, but it appears they have limited options for potential suitors. The Sacramento Kings are facing a mess of an ownership situation, and it's anyones guess at this point whether or not they stay or leave town.
In addition to Seattle, the city of Anaheim has been linked to the Kings in relocation talks these last few months. According to this report though, it appears a move to southern California is out of the question.
Stern says owners wouldn't approve move of Kings to Anaheim if such was on table and Kings owners plan on staying in Sacramento.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) June 13, 2012
We've all heard that the Maloof family -- the owners of the Kings -- want to keep the franchise in Sacramento, but that might all be hot air. Seattle could become a very appealing destination for the Maloofs should they get a new arena built, and the news of Anaheim reportedly being out as far as relocation spots go is good news for those living up north.
For more on the NBA in Seattle and the latest on arena developments, check out the SB Nation Seattle StoryStream.
The Seattle arena meant to house NBA and NHL teams seemed to be on the road to being constructed. However, there were some complaints about whether placing an arena so near two other sporting venues (SafeCo Field for the Mariners, Qwest Field for the Seahawks) could lead to big traffic problems, particularly when there were two sporting events scheduled for the same day (which seems all but inevitable with the four major sports all involved).
The Seattle Department of Transportation moved quickly to make a statement on the matter, but also provided a study to support their statement on the issue. Emily Heffter files this report for the Seattle Times.
The new arena would add about 6,000 vehicles to the area on 52 nights a year, the study says, concluding that “these are well within the existing parking/traffic/transit capacity in the area.”
Things get more complicated on nights when there is an event at the arena and at one of the neighboring stadiums for baseball, football and soccer, the report says. That could happen as many as 15 weeknights a year if one of the teams makes the playoffs, but the study said that would bring in about 40,000 visitors, no more than in 2002 when 40 weeknights games had more than 40,000 patrons.
Additionally, Chris Daniels has this additional nugget.
It looks like the SoDo site won't be held back by the port of Seattle's concerns, which might have been a bit alarmist but were worth examining before moving ahead with the project. It looks as if things on this front should be smooth running from here.
The city of Seattle is working furiously to bring an NBA team to their neck of the woods. And if they can secure a commitment from a franchise to come to Seattle, they have the approval to begin building a new state-of-the-art arena to house this team. The new arena could even mean an NHL franchise in the city, which would be huge for a town that currently has two popular franchises in the Seahawks and Mariners.
Jane Hague, a member of the Metropolitan King County Council, supports the idea of a new stadium in town, but wants to see the logistics of the operation first. That includes parking, transportation and getting folks in and out of the area in a safe and timely manner. Hague recently released this statement on the planning.
"Yesterday's proposal for a multi-purpose arena is one more step towards a private public partnership that would potentially bring professional basketball, hockey and other events to our region.
"On the day after, let us leverage the energy and enthusiasm for this break-through and resolve to deal with the issue of "if we build it, how will they come...and go?"
"The impact is immense as events related to the proposed venue would help area businesses, including restaurants, lodging and others while providing more jobs and creating additional tax revenues during these challenging times. It also would contribute to the economic engine of not only sports but international trade and our region's competitiveness.
"This proposal is also a timely opportunity to fix the inadequacies of transportation access in and out of south downtown and West Seattle. While there is adequate mass transit to the current and proposed facility, there are other issues to consider: road transportation for residents and working people, as well as freight mobility for area businesses-including the Port of Seattle-will transition from inadequate to worse.
She definitely has a point -- building a new arena in a large city which thousands of fans would fill up on a nightly basis does require a lot of planning -- and it is imperative for Seattle to work through these potential issues in the coming weeks. As Hague mentions in the statement, a new arena would obviously be huge financially for the city. Now it's just a matter of securing a commitment from an NBA franchise.
According to multiple sources including King 5 in Seattle, construction for a new downtown sports arena has been OK'd to begin once they have gotten an NBA team in place, after the city of Seattle, King County and San Francisco based hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen agreed to a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday.
The agreement adds a new wrinkle to an original proposal in that an NHL team is no longer needed to start construction. Only an NBA team, with a non-relocation agreement signed, is needed to begin construction on the proposed 18,500-seat facility.
The city/county investment in the project would be capped at $200 million if both an NBA and NHL team are acquired. The city would cover $120 million and the county would pay $80 million.
The agreement also calls for $290 million in outside funds, while no NBA or NHL team has committed or even strongly signaled a move to Seattle could be in their near future.
Hansen, the man spear-heading this project, still faces a number of obstacles on the road to brining the NBA back to Seattle, including serious traffic concerns voiced by the Mariners in and around the SODO area of Seattle. Still, this is a huge step forward for the NBA's return to Seattle.
A lot of Seattle NBA fans have a love-hate relationship with their former team.
In a report written by Chris Daniels of King 5 News, the Seattle Freight Advisory Board is asking for a more "thorough" examination of the potential traffic issues a new sports arena in the SODO district would cause.
The recent breakdown in talks between the Sacramento Kings and the city of Sacramento have Seattle sports fans more and more excited about the possibility of a new team. However, as made evident by this latest news update, there is opposition in the city of Seattle towards the arena plan led by Chris Hansen.
The San Francisco investor has already stated he will fund a comprehensive traffic study to address the potential issue raised by different parties including the Seattle Mariners organization.
Art Thiel from Sports Press NW interviewed Chris Hansen earlier this week and asked Hansen about the proposed study. Here was his response:
There's a dual obligation. It's my obligation to make sure that for this project, the pluses outweigh the minuses -- a net positive. And there's some obligation from me to be part of the discussion that resolves the longer-term issues facing the project.
And the city and county have an obligation. Pinning the entire (traffic mitigation) issue on me, I would say, is unfair. Pinning the broader issues that pre-dated me and will post-date me, is unfair. We would be one of many constituencies down there to figure it out.
Seattle is closer to regaining a team than it has ever been since 2008, but there is still much to be done and many questions to be answered before the Sonics are resurrected.
The possibility of the NBA and NHL coming to Seattle is exciting for many local sportsfans, but an arena needs to be built first. And for an arena to be built, the city and arena-backer Chris Hansen must make it past several obstacles and questions surrounding the project.
Tim Ellis, editor of real estate site SeattleBubble.com explored the question of whether the city of Seattle could handle supporting two more professional sports teams.
According to his findings, Ellis does not think Seattle could support two more professional teams:
At 875,007 residents per local pro sports team, Seattle is already 25% below the 28-city average of 1,174,483. If we were to bring both NBA and NHL teams to our market we would shoot to a full 50% below the average.
It would appear that the answer to Councilmember Hague's question of whether Seattle can "support so many teams" would appear to be "probably not."
Five other cities; Washington D.C., San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York all have at least 63 percent or more people than Seattle.
Of course, Ellis' study is imperfect as he admits it in the blog post:
Other counterpoints include Nick Eaton's from the Seattle PI who references the cities of Denver and Minneapolis as markets with a small populations that thrive with five professional sports teams.
Ellis' findings are thought-provoking and are not totally worthless. Every question must be answered before Hansen and the city go all-in. Count this as one of them.
So much for the Seattle Mariners trying to stick themselves into the Seattle arena debate. It appears after Seattle citizens made their voices heard, everyone in the organization is ready to do an about face.
Shannon Drayer talked with the Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln and filed this report. You can listen to the full audio by clicking here.
Howard Lincoln: I think as the letter makes clear we are very supportive of having the NBA back in Seattle, the NHL as well. We had a great relationship with the Sonics before they left and, quite frankly, I was a Sonics fan before I was a Mariners fan. So we would love to see the NBA back.
Our concern is the siting of the proposed NBA arena. The concern we have really is a transportation issue and what we anticipate will be the need to expend significant public funds to mitigate the transportation problems we have there and to build appropriate infrastructure so that these transportation issues are at least eased. Our hope is through this letter, what we are really saying with this letter is, "Please, let's have a process, a public process that determines the best site for the arena. We simply don't think the site right next to our parking lot works."
Now it appears the Mariners are throwing their weight behind these issues, as they had these statements to make on what's occurring in SoDo.
"We are happy to hear the news of a feasibility study of traffic and parking in the Sodo area."
"We are very supportive of this process and we look forward to being involved."
"We have a lot of experience down here because we have lived it every day for over 12 years."
"We look forward to participating in the study, offering our experience & our expertise & helping find a solution that works for everyone."
All is well. Please proceed.
To discuss the Mariners, head on over to Lookout Landing.
According to a report for Curtis Crabtree of Sports Radio KJR, the Arena Review Panel appointed by Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine has come back with some favorable reports of their month long inquiry into the arena proposal set for by Chris Hansen for Seattle's SODO district.
Panel chairwomanJan Drago noted that the findings were "generally favorable" and should be under serious consideration from the city in her opinion.
Crabtree reports that the consensus of the panel is "no business endeavor is completely risk free", but felt that this specific proposal is a sincere attempt of Hansens group trying to handle any problems up front. From here, creating a streamlined base of understanding between Hansen, the city and county will be crucial to move forward, then it will likely go to a vote to the city and county councils. King 5 is reporting that more details are needed to get a full grasp of the impact on the surrounding areas.
One of the larger road blocks is the unfavorable light that the Seattle Mariners have been casting on the situation. Traffic and parking concerns are only part of the reasons that the M's are against this deal, but hopefully everything can get smoothed out to keep all Seattle sports fans happy.
For more on Seattle's new arena proposals, make sure you follow our StoryStream for the latest news and updates.
As the city of Sacramento jumps for joy with the news that there is a deal in place to keep the Sacramento Kings in town, the city of Seattle is dealt yet another blow in its quest to bring NBA basketball back to the city that was deserted when the former Sonics left to become the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson told the media in Orlando that the city, the Maloof Brothers and the NBA have agreed on the framework of a deal for a new entertainment and sports complex in their downtown.
Johnson added to the Sacramento Bee's Ryan Lillis, "It's game over." And ESPNLA's Arash Markazi tweeted about the most surprising element of the deal - the Maloofs agreeing to put up $70 million upfront for the new arena. Either way you look at it, it's another letdown for the city of Seattle.
Let the search for an NBA team continue...
The Sonics had several participants in NBA dunk contests, but one former Seattle player had the distinction of losing to some of the best in the mid-80's.
With Seattle likely stuck with trying to relocate another team to their new proposed arena, the Sacramento Kings seem like the perfect targets. The team has already been in danger of relocating in the past year and was only saved from being moved when the NBA rejected the Anaheim proposal last year. But Sacramento has fought to keep their team, and a plan appears to be in place to save them from going anywhere.
In a joint statement released Wednesday, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and NBA Commissioner David Stern said they have agreed to a "work plan" in hopes of reaching a deal to finance a new Sacramento arena by a March 1 deadline.
Johnson, Stern and the Maloof family, which owns the Kings, will meet this weekend in Orlando, Fla.
The arena vote has also been delayed.
Sacramento city officials announced they canceled their planned Feb. 28 City Council hearing on the arena deal, and tentatively moved the council date to March 6. Officials said they are switching the council date to avoid springing a major deal on council members and the public at the last minute, without giving them a chance to digest and discuss it.
So it looks as if the NBA and Sacramento are going to get this worked out in time. If Seattle wants an NBA franchise, they might have to look elsewhere. The immediate candidate is New Orleans, but is the NBA willing to lose that foothold in that devastated city?
To talk about the NBA in Seattle with Kings fans, head on over to Sactown Royalty.
As NBA fans in Seattle look forward to the prospect of having a team around to root for once again, fans down in Sacramento are holding their breath that they don't suffer the same fate as basketball fans in the Northwest.
But in a report from the Sacramento Bee Wednesday, NBA commissioner David Stern said that the Kings will make a large contribution to the Sacramento arena project, essentially trying whatever it takes to keep the team in Northern California, though he wouldn't disclose any figures.
During an interview with TNT"s David Aldridge, Stern noted that hopefully things will 'make sense' before the March 1st deadline to hash out a deal for the proposed $387 million arena deal from the city. Los Angeles based AEG is also seen to be a player in the deal, which is viewed as a 'team contribution by Stern:
"The team has agreed to a substantial contribution, both directly from itself, but also by catalyzing AEG to be interested. In effect, whatever money AEG puts in is because of give-backs by the team ... so we see that as a team contribution," Stern said. "Whether it ultimately closes all the gaps, we'll know as we negotiate continuously and I fully expect that we will be negotiating in Orlando (this weekend when team and city representatives meet for the All-Star game)"
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson also plans to meet with Stern during the weekend face-to-face, and also expects to have a 'term sheet' to show the City Council for review on Tuesday.
Where this leaves Seattle in terms of a new NBA team is still uncertain, though it isn't looking good for a Kings move up North at the moment.
For more on Seattle's new arena, make sure to follow this StoryStream.
The NBA in Seattle project moves along, and it seems the most important thing is to get support from the current owners for a team in the city. In general NBA owners will oppose plans for a team moving to a new city because of the bad public relations, until they find out that the team will probably be more profitable at the new spot, at which point they sign off.
Mark Cuban seems to be on board with a new team in Seattle, even if it means moving them out of an unprofitable area. Ken Berger of CBS Sports has more.
Mark Cuban always holds court with the media when his Mavericks make their annual visit to Madison Square Garden. On Sunday, he said he'd support Seattle's efforts to return to the NBA.
"As long as it’s not an expansion team, yes," Cuban said. "... I voted against the move because I thought it was wrong to leave Seattle. I’d be all for a team going back to Seattle. But it would have to be a team that moves. I’d be against any type of expansion."
Plans for a $490 million arena aimed at attracting an NBA and NHL team to Seattle were unveiled this week, with a $290 million commitment from investors led by Seattle native and hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen. The balance of the funds would come from tax revenues generated by the building and rent paid by the teams, according to the plan.
The most interesting thing here is how reticent Cuban is to Seattle getting an expansion team. I'm guessing he doesn't want to see more expansion, which really caused a lot of flux for the NBA in previous seasons. Expansion also causes more issues, more imbalances, and potential cutbacks in a profitable product. The NBA seems fine the way it is, why ruin it and put in more teams?
Late Monday and early Tuesday, reports surfaced that said the NHL had sold the Phoenix Coyotes to Greg Jamison and that he would be keeping the beleaguered franchise in the desert. This hurts Seattle's chances of getting an NHL team to fill the possible arena that was proposed last week. Well, so far, the NHL is denying the claim the team has been sold. Per Chris Daniels of King-5 News:
The National Hockey League reiterated Tuesday that there is no deal to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix.
A source told KING5 Sports Monday night that Greg Jamison, a former San Jose Sharks executive and part owner, had reached an agreement in principle with the NHL to buy the team and keep it in Arizona.
"We are the owner of the team, and thus should know if and when we have a deal to sell the team," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told KING 5 Tuesday.
"I have unequivocally denied (several times) that we have a deal with Jamison, (much less that the Board has approved him)," said Daly. "I hope it gets done with Jamison, but there is a long way between here and there."
It could just be a denial by the NHL until the deal gets officially approved, or I suppose it could be a falsified report that the team has been sold. We'll keep you updated as the details emerge.
It looks like Seattle's roadmap to an NHL franchise just hit a speed bump. The pro-sports starved city was pining for the opportunity to bring the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes into the fold but it looks as if that longshot may have officially missed its target.
According to Mick Sunnucks of Phoenix Business Journal, the NHL and San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison are close to making a deal for Jamison and his group of investors to purchase the team and thus, keep it in Glendale, Az.
"The deal still has to go through final approvals and due diligence as well as through the city of Glendale which owns Jobing.com Arena. But Jamison, the NHL and Glendale are close to a final deal, according to sources familiar with the hockey team."
Seattle, along with another ownership group led by Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf and Phoenix attorney John Kaites, are the other two viable options if the deal with Jamison falls through at the last minute. But Jamison's track record for turning around franchises bodes well for his purchase and puts another nail in the Seattle fan coffin built mostly by Seattle Sonics green.
Officials with the new arena proposal group will now look to other struggling NHL teams for a possible relocation to the Emerald City.
Behind the proposal to bring the NBA and NHL back to Seattle via a new arena is Chris Hansen, a San Francisco hedge-fund manager with ties to the area. So who is he? SeattlePI looked into it.
Hansen was born in San Francisco in 1968 but moved to Seattle with his mother in 1973. He was 11 when the Seattle Sonics won the 1979 NBA Finals and he says that winning the championship was a defining moment in his life. Despite moving away, he always remained a die-hard Sonics fan.
"I’ve always been a Seattle sports fan," he told The Seattle Times. "There’s no second team. If you guys talked to any of my friends, (you) would realize I’m a Seahawks fan, a Mariners fan, a Sounders fan and a Sonics fan, and I think I’ve been fortunate enough in my life that I could make a difference."
Most interestingly, Hansen seems interested in staying out of the limelight as much as possible when it comes to the new arena. He wasn’t present for Thursday’s news conference at City Hall and is only releasing photos of himself to select media.
Whoever he might be, he's turning into a hero for Seattle fans.
For complete coverage of the NBA situation in Seattle, please stay tuned to this StoryStream.
For longtime basketball fans in the region, invoking the name of the Seattle SuperSonics can still rankle, even years after the team left town and left many diehards heartbroken. A recent spate of rumors has cropped up surrounding the possibility that Seattle may soon receive another NBA franchise to fill the void left in the region.
John Hopperstad of Q13 FOX News reports that although many fans -- including the mayor of Seattle -- assume that any team that might wind up in Seattle would be rebranded as the Sonics, the reality may be far more complicated. The "Seattle SuperSonics" name still has an owner; Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett still owns the rights to the name and team logo that fell by the wayside when he relocated and rebranded the team.
A spokesperson with the City Attorney’s Office said that while there is the possibility of using the Sonic name again, the NBA would need to approve the use of the name for a team in Seattle and "the Oklahoma City team has some rights to the team history that would need to be transferred."
Hopperstad spoke with Adam Brown of Sonicsgate, who remains optimistic about the team name situation.
"I think once we get a team, for PR purposes, and just as a sign of good faith, Clay Bennet will give us our history back," Brown said.
Regardless what happens with any new team, NBA fans will just be happy to once again have local basketball. But it would certainly not hurt anything if the Seattle SuperSonics made their triumphant return.
For complete coverage of the NBA situation in Seattle, please stay tuned to this StoryStream.
The rumors continue to swirl regarding the potential of Seattle obtaining an NHL team. The Phoenix Coyotes seemed like the most likely team to relocate until recently, and it appears they may stay in Arizona following the sale of the franchise. The latest name to pop up as a relocation candidate is that of the New York Islanders, although it's uncertain how likely that scenario would be.
On the Coyotes front, the Sporting News reports that Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf is once again bidding for ownership of the franchise, along with partner John Kaites, a former executive for the Dallas Stars. It appears the city of Glendale is attempting to make things easy for potential buyers who intend to keep the Coyotes in Arizona.
Jon Humbert at KATU.com reports that the NHL has a contractual right to explore relocation options prior to a team's sale, but has not yet done so in the case of the Coyotes. He notes that officials have remained adamant about wanting the team to remain in the Phoenix area. Humbert also notes that the continued draw and success of the Everett Silvertips is a good indicator that hockey is a viable option in the Puget Sound region.
It appears there is no shortage of potential team owners who find Seattle an attractive option. Chris Daniels at KING 5 News recently spoke with Don Levin, who owns the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League and has designs on acquiring an NHL franchise at some point. Levin says "time is of the essence" regarding a relocation city and that Seattle should do everything possible to position themselves as a city committed to the NHL.
No one knows how this will all shake out, but for now it seems that the NHL and Seattle are plenty interested in one another. It just seems unlikely that the Coyotes will be the team that ultimately comes to town.
For complete coverage of the NHL situation in Seattle, please stay tuned to this StoryStream.
While plans for an arena in Seattle are probably contingent on being able to secure an NBA team and getting them to move up to the Pacific Northwest, it wouldn't hurt if they could find an NHL team as well. Putting two teams in the same arena would go a long way toward getting the arena the team is looking for.
Craig Custance, an NHL reporter for ESPN.com, wrote in his Insider blog (note: you must have an ESPN Insider account to read the article) on Friday that "if there were any doubts" Seattle has moved to the front of the NHL's relocation wishlist "they were erased when Seattle announced Christopher Hansen's proposal to build a new arena." While cities like Quebec City and Toronto have been cited as possible destinations for a new NHL team, Custance thinks Seattle has jumped to the top of the list for a relocated franchise.
"Having moved the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg, I don't think the league is necessarily that thrilled with the idea of sending another team north of the border," Custance told the "Brock and Salk Show" on Friday.
"If you're the league you have to look at the big picture, and you still want to teams in these strategically placed American-based markets. I think that's important to the league and I think that's important to [commissioner] Gary Bettman, and I think that's why Seattle is in the drivers seat."
Seattle always seemed like a natural fit for an NHL team. It's in a cold-weather town, it's a city full of hungry sports fans that will attend everything (they fill up MLS games in an NFL stadium!), and they have a potential budding rivalry with the Vancouver Canucks that could really blossom over time. There's a lot to like about the NHL setting up shop in Seattle if they do end up finding the team, although it's no guarantee they can get one since it's unclear if there are any candidates to take them.
The Phoenix Coyotoes are the likeliest team, although they're probably being sold to people who want to keep them where they are.
Rumors continue to swirl about moves that would bring an NHL or NBA franchise to Seattle, if not both. Until Friday, it appeared that the most likely NHL team to relocate would be the Phoenix Coyotes, who are currently on the market and looking for a new owner.
On Friday, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times reported that a sale of the Coyotes was near, but it was a sale that would keep the franchise in Arizona. Phoenix reporter Dave Zorn then clarified that the sale was not a done deal but that the NHL had approved the purchasing group and the financing for a sale.
King-5 News reported on the sale, noting:
"Former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison has been approved by the NHL to purchase the Coyotes. Former Coyotes star, Jeremy Roenick, is reportedly part of Jamison's group. The Coyotes are no longer financially supported in Glendale, where they are losing money. Seattle sports fans saw the team as a potential tenant of the city's newly proposed NBA/NHL arena.
Members of the Phoenix Coyotes Coalition told KING 5 News they will celebrate when they hear it from the NHL, the current owners of the team. An announcement from the NHL is not expected until Monday at the earliest."
A report in the Arizona Republic elaborated:
For now, there are only whispers. But Jerry Colangelo hears potential buyers are "milling around." Former NHL star Jeremy Roenick said he's been approached by Greg Jamison, the former San Jose Sharks CEO who is trying to raise sufficient funds. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman recently said there's a third party involved, joining the Jamison Group and Chicago sports mogul Jerry Reinsdorf.
One source said this third party is not only very real, but extremely wealthy and spending serious money on due diligence. That's a great sign. And you can't help but notice the renewed faith in the voice of Coyotes coach Dave Tippett.
"We are still hoping for a good ending," Tippett said. "You look at what's happened over the last three years, and we've found a way to stay competitive. I think there's a ton of upside with this team (for any investor). We just have to find a way to get the deal done. Just like you guys, we hear the names. We hear the things that are going on behind the scenes. And hopefully we hear some good news soon."
Zorn really raised some eyebrows a short time later when he responded to a Twitter question by saying that Seattle was out of the running for the Coyotes, but that area fans should "keep an eye on the Islanders." He later reiterated his Islanders comment, saying, "Seattle isn't out of the woods for a team yet." Later still, he clarified that the New York Islanders owner wants out of the team, is unable to get funding for a new building and is having attendance issues.
The Islanders situation is intriguing for a number of reasons. The team has been around as the Islanders since 1972 and has a dedicated following, but are a very distant second in the market to the New York Rangers. They've won four Stanley Cups, but have not made it as far as the Conference Championships since 1984. If they are indeed a candidate to come to Seattle, it would raise the ire of a lot of diehards, but would be a franchise with a deep history for Seattle fans to rally around.
For complete coverage of the NHL situation in Seattle, please stay tuned to this StoryStream.
Despite being one of the larger cities in the country, Seattle has just two professional sports teams among the four-major sports. While the Mariners and Seahawks have strong fan bases, potentially bringing in a new NHL and/or NBA team would certainly be a change of pace across the region. According to this latest update from Mariners Spring Training Camp, the club would welcome in a new franchise with arms wide open.
A proposal for a new $500 million arena that could house NBA and NHL teams in Seattle was met with approval Thursday by the Mariners, who say they'd welcome another sporting neighbor in the city.
The plan was unveiled by Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine, who said the facility has been proposed by a private investment group headed by Seattle native Christopher Hansen, a hedge fund manager in San Francisco.
"The Seattle Mariners are excited about this afternoon's announcement and the possibility of having NBA and NHL teams coming to the Seattle area," the team said in a release. "From our perspective, it is all about the fans and the community.
The proposed new area would be built just south of Safeco Field and would undoubtably bring new restaurants, bars, shops and night clubs to the area. It's tough to imagine why any professional sports team would object a new franchise coming to town, but this seems like a win-win situation for everyone involved.
With the new arena proposal comes the hope and anticipation of rooting for two new professional teams for this city.
The City of Seattle appears poised to potentially land an NHL team, most likely the Phoenix Coyotes. Here's some historical background information on the franchise that you may find interesting.
If you've got questions, the city has answers. Below, you'll find a city-produced Frequently Asked Questions document that seeks to provide some of the answers you're seeking, via several media outlets, including the SeattlePI. I'll shut up now and let you read.
Arena Project FAQ
Seattle and King County
Q. What is the benefit of this project?
A. This project represents a significant private investment in the region and will return professional basketball to the city of Seattle and attract an NHL hockey team. Development of the arena will create thousands of construction jobs, employ hundreds of full- and part-time workers to operate the arena, add to Seattle's already considerable sports and arts culture and attract additional visitors to the area.
Q. How do the City and County benefit from this project?
A. This project benefits the City and County in a number of direct and indirect ways without risk to taxpayers or negative impact on their respective general funds. Development of the arena will create new construction jobs, ancillary economic and cultural activity will generate new tax revenues that support schools and other priorities, and the arena will be a publically owned regional asset.
City and County Role
Q. Why should the City and County help private investors pay for a new arena?
A. It's a sound public investment with little risk. This public-private partnership has significant benefits for the City, County and the region, and the arena will be a publically owned asset. Development and operation of the facility will create thousands of jobs and bring professional basketball and hockey to the city. Most importantly, the investments made by City and County will be repaid through revenues from the new arena and those who choose to use the facility.
Q. This proposed package would include up to $200 million of combined financing from the City
and County. How will that be repaid?
A. The public obligations will be repaid over 30 years through rent on the arena and taxes on arena activity, including revenues from City and County property, sales and admissions taxes. If tax revenue falls below projections, the teams using the arena will make up the shortfall by paying additional rent. The public financial obligation is also secured against more than $500 million of private investment in the arena and an NBA franchise, and against future investment in an NHL franchise.
Q. What happens if there is a revenue shortfall?
A. The City and County are safeguarded against any cost overruns or revenue shortfalls. The
private developers will pay for any cost overruns during construction. Payment of City and County financing obligations are guaranteed by the lease agreement. If there is a shortfall in tax revenue, team owners will pay additional rent to make up the difference.
Q. Has anyone put together a financing package like this one?
A. No. This is a truly innovative approach made possible by the size of the private investment, the revenue created by the arena and the guarantees made by the teams. The public's investment will be leveraged against a significant private investment to develop the arena, and against the value of two NBA and NHL franchises.
Q. How does this financing package comply with Initiative 91?
A. Initiative 91 is an important standard that protects Seattle taxpayers. The law requires that Seattle residents get a fair return on their investment, and this proposal is designed to deliver revenues that will do so.
Q. How were revenue projections made for this financing package?
A. The City employed an expert arena consultant to ensure financial modeling was approached in a reasonable and yet conservative manner. More importantly, the proposal guarantees the revenue streams.
Q. What guarantees do the City and County have that the team won't leave?
A. The proposal requires the teams to enter into binding non-relocation agreements until the arena financing is fully repaid.
Q. What will happen if the teams demand upgrades to the arena?
A. The teams are free to upgrade the arena, but they will pay the cost of doing so. The City and County's investment is capped.
Q. What are the next steps?
A. The jointly appointed review committee will evaluate the proposal and report its findings to the City and County, and both the City and County councils will need to approve an agreement on the project.
Q. Will this be put to a public vote?
A. There has already been a public vote - voters in Seattle set the parameters for the City's
investment when they voted in favor of Initiative 91. The principles of this proposal are structured to ensure revenue streams consistent with Initiative 91.
Q. How is the State involved in this?
A. The State will not be asked to contribute anything to this project. Financing of the public share will be done by the City and County. The State will benefit from increased property, B&O and sales tax revenue on the arena and ancillary business activity around the arena. Construction and Stadium District Impact
Q. What impact will the arena have on traffic in the area?
A. Local governments have invested billions already, and are investing in additional transportation infrastructure improvements in the area. Before the project begins, it must meet Transportation Mitigation Planning requirements, including the production of a detailed study of how traffic will be accommodated.
Q. Who will oversee design and construction of the arena?
A. The proposal provides assurances that the arena will be state of the art. The developer will manage design and construction of the new arena, and will be responsible for covering any and all cost overruns.The City and County will provide oversight to ensure the facility is in line with the design and operating standards specified in the agreement.
Q. How will traffic and crowds be managed on days where arena events overlap with events at the baseball or football stadiums?
A. The potential overlap of events is a situation best handled by agreements between the teams that manage the stadiums and arena. These teams have every incentive to cooperate and avoid unnecessarily competition. Team agreements are already in place between the Seahawks, Sounders and Mariners, and are working successfully in cities across the country.
Q. What is being done to address parking in the stadium district?
A. The already-ample availability of parking is one of the most attractive aspects about the proposed arena location. The public has made considerable investments in the nearby transportation infrastructure in recent years that makes the stadium district very accessible by all modes of transportation. The arena would be hosting 18,000 people for events. CenturyLink Field brings in 70,000 every football Sunday.
Q. Are other development efforts planned for the area surrounding the stadiums and proposed arena?
A. Any future plans for nearby development would be addressed through the standard zoning and land-use processes.
Q. What impact will the new arena have on the manufacturing and industrial area?
A. The proposed arena is in the area zoned as the stadium district.
Q. Was consideration given to other possible arena locations?
A. The proposed location was a choice made by the private investor, and the land was privately secured before a proposal was made to the City and County, but this appears to be a great location to build a new arena. The existing transportation infrastructure in the stadium district makes it a natural choice.
Q. What will happen to Key Arena?
A. Key Arena barely breaks even now. It will present a challenge whether a new arena is built in Seattle, Bellevue or Tacoma. And the Seattle Center Master Plan provides only vague guidance on the future of the Key. There is more than one realistic path forward. The City could repurpose the Key as a small entertainment, community event venue. Chris Hansen has also expressed interest in running the Key long-term. There may be other options. Mr. Hansen has agreed to fund a study to look at both short and long term challenges and opportunities with the Key. We will look to this study and the Seattle Center Advisory Committee to provide guidance on what path to take.
The city of Seattle may be moving closer and closer to getting a brand new arena to potentially lure a professional NBA and/or NHL team, but it is unclear at this point if any teams would be willing to make the move to the northwestern corner of the country. There have been rumors -- everyone from the NBA Kings to NHL Coyotes have been mentioned -- but nothing has been concrete as of yet.
The Seattle Times has the latest update on the team situation:
An NBA league spokesman said Thursday there would be no comment from the commissioner or league officials on the situation in Seattle. Oklahoma City owner Clay Bennett, who just so happens to be the head of the league's seven-owner relocation committee, was not available for an interview.
As for the NHL?
"There's probably good potential for Seattle as a hockey market," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday, "but we are not looking to relocate and we're not looking to expand."
There are a lot of moving parts when relocating a team and the months of March and April are typically the deadlines for an application, but the leagues, especially the NBA, will typically be flexible should there be a strong match. The city of Seattle is undoubtably ready for new teams, but this will take a lot more than just a few crowd rallies to get anything done.
For years, Seattle had an NBA team waiting and hoping for a new arena. Now, the plans for that arena will have to wait for two teams to be secured.
That's much easier said than done, I'm afraid, but this latest update certainly does not mean anything imminent for the arena and relocation projects.
The wheels are turning toward Seattle having an NBA team again, and perhaps an NHL team to follow. Here are some of the main details. Thanks to the reporters Emily Heffter and Jennifer Sullivan from the Seattle Times and Nick Eaton of the Seattle PI for their in-depth reporters.
King's County has to be happy with themselves right now. They could potentially have FOUR major sports teams within a few blocks of each other in a couple of years serving the city of Seattle. That's as impressive as it gets.
Statement of Mariners regarding proposed arena:
The Seattle Mariners are excited about this afternoon's announcement and the possibility of having NBA and NHL teams coming to the Seattle area. From our perspective, it is all about the fans and the community. We aren't familiar with the details, but are ready to participate in the public process to make this a "win" for the fans and to realize the many potential benefits for the region. It is too early for us to make any further comments.
So, more or less nothing was said, but essentially in line with what the Seahawks and Sounders have also said. "We're into the idea! But can't commit to it either way!"
For more on this ongoing situation, make sure you stay right here and follow this StoryStream.
Some important talking points on the new Seattle Arena Deal that has been announced Thursday afternoon. First off, it would be located in the SoDo district near Safeco and CenturyLink Field and would be suitable for NBA, NHL, and concert events.
Here were a few of King County Executive Dow Constantine's talking points in the press conference:
- No new taxes. The project would be self funded by private investors and the public contribution (no more than $200 million) would be paid back in full.
- Private investors bear project risk, and responsible for cost overruns.
- Public debt would be backed by taxes, rents of facility and these would be revenues that would not exist if not for the new arena. In other words, they wouldn't be cannibalizing other revenue streams.
- $300 million of private money would be invested into a facility and land that is owned by the public. Appears to meet requirements that the city has set, so Mayor Mike McGinn and Dow Constantine are appointing a committee to determine legitimacy of proposal (includes Lenny Wilkens, former city CM Jan Drago, former Deputy Mayor Maud Daudon). They'll be looking for a response within a month.
- Construction would create thousands of jobs, especially in construction, to help get Seattle out of recession. Games by NBA would bring visitors and tourist money all over the SeaTac area. Local economy would be positively impacted.
- There will be no arena unless there is an agreement to get a team here to occupy that arena over a very long term. There will be no public investment until that is secured.
More as we learn the intimate details..
A new Seattle Arena proposal has been released to the media. Tim Booth of the AP explains:
SeattleArena proposal calls for $290 million in private investment and guarantee of both NBA and NHL franchises.— Tim Booth (@ByTimBooth) February 16, 2012
Construction would start when both NHL/NBA teams acquired. Their lease with city would be 30 yrs, no relocation allowed. #SeattleArena— Tim Booth (@ByTimBooth) February 16, 2012
Rough estimate is $800 million in private investment (arena/2 teams) and $200 million in public based off taxes. #SeattleArena— Tim Booth (@ByTimBooth) February 16, 2012
Teams would play temporarily at KeyArena. Rough construction timetable would 2 years on new building. #SeattleArena— Tim Booth (@ByTimBooth) February 16, 2012
Per @mattpitman: The proposal requires the securing of an NBA AND NHL team before anything can happen, binds KeyArena as ONLY temporary home— Jessamyn McIntyre (@JessamynESPN) February 16, 2012
Seattle Major Mike McGinn stressed that it is still but a proposal. There is still work to be done, but the bottom line is that Christopher Hansen is the main investor and his group will be responsible for $290 million of the cost. The rest will be publicly funded but repaid with revenues from sporting events, concerts, etc in the building.
The building will be owned by the city and the tenants will pay rent. Next steps will be announced shortly.
Looking to tune into the live press conference that should shed some light on the potential arena deal?
Tune in to 710 ESPN or 950 KJR if you're by a radio. If you're stuck at work, those stations have live streams:
Also, some twitter accounts to monitor as you listen...
Lenny Wilkens here at the arena press conference— Dave Softy Mahler (@Softykjr) February 16, 2012
Lenny Wilkens in the housesitting in front of me. Presser in 10 minutes. twitter.com/ErinHawksworth…— Erin Hawksworth (@ErinHawksworth) February 16, 2012
For now the podium is empty. I should go up there and shout: The NBA and NHL are coming to Seattle!!! img.ly/e1Ot— Aaron Levine (@QItUpAaron) February 16, 2012
Ya, there's a video camera or two. twitter.com/ArenaSolution/…— ArenaSolution.org(@ArenaSolution) February 16, 2012
Arena fever has hit Seattle hard today and Pete Carroll took to twitter, as he customarily does, to voice his support for the deal:
Go Chris Hansen go.... how could I not support a Bay Area guy who went to SC and loves Seattle?— Pete Carroll (@PeteCarroll) February 16, 2012
The more important figure in all of this though, at least when it comes to the Seahawks and their support or resistance to a deal like this, is Seahawks and Portland Blazers owner Paul Allen. Allen released a statement through the team a few minutes ago:
#Seahawks release a statement from Paul Allen on arena proposal: "It was a sad day when the Sonics left Seattle, a move I opposed (cont.)— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) February 16, 2012
... (More Allen) It’s exciting to think about the NBA coming back to Seattle and renewing the rivalry with the Portland Trail Blazers.— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) February 16, 2012
... (Allen part 3) However, it is too early for me to comment any further without a specific plan or proposal to review."— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) February 16, 2012
He obviously has to issue the caveat at the end, but it seems likely that Allen would be in favor of this move. He's a huge fan of the NBA - some say it's his true love, much more than the NFL and the Seahawks, and Allen has proven to be very loyal to the city of Seattle. It would seem that the Seahawks likely wouldn't resist such an Arena Deal plan, but the Mariners' likely stance is much more clouded.
As for the Sounders - they've already voiced their opinion, as Boyle also points out:
Seahawks Peter McLoughlin and Sounders Adrian Hanauer: "We support anything that is good for the Seattle community and downtown development"— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) February 16, 2012
McLaughlin and Hanauer continued "Both the Seahawks and Sounders believe that the economic and cultural benefits of professional sports...— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) February 16, 2012
... " are a central and important contributor to any community's growth."— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) February 16, 2012
Just over an hour until the City will hold their press conference with a so-called 'major announcement' on a potential deal for a new arena. Stay tuned.
For more on the new arena, make sure to follow updates in this StoryStream.
Don Levin, the owner of the AHL's Chicago Wolves, is interested in bringing an NHL team to the city of Seattle, according to multiple sources including Mike Halford of Pro Hockey Talk.
Levin told David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail that if hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen is successful in building a new arena in Seattle and rejoining the fan base with an NBA team, he'd seriously consider bringing an NHL franchise to the city as well:
"If he's successful, I'd be very happy to be involved," Levin said. "I told [Hansen] if he has something put together I would be interested."
Levin founded D.R.L. Enterprises, his Chicago-based company that takes part in a multitude of businesses including aircraft and medical equipment leasing, tobacco processing, sports products and even movie production.
One of the teams many people think could move to Seattle is the Phoenix Coyotes, who's lack of ownership and issues with the city of Glendale where the reside make them a feasible candidate. But in an email to The Globe, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the Coyotes are not on the table for relocation to Seattle:
"None of those discussions occurred recently and none have involved the Phoenix Coyotes," Daly said.
For more on the new arena, make sure to follow updates in this StoryStream.
Adding even more to the intrigue of today's press conference, a media advisory sent out Thursday morning noted:
Per media advisory, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn & King County Executive Dow Constantine will be making a "major announcement" at 2pm. #arena— Liz Mathews 710 ESPN (@Liz_Mathews) February 16, 2012
Advisory doesn't mention Chris Hansen, only states: "Speaking at the news conference will be the Mayor and the County Executive." #arena— Liz Mathews 710 ESPN (@Liz_Mathews) February 16, 2012
City of Seattle just officially confirmed a 2 p.m. press conference to make a "major announcement." Game on?— Tim Booth (@ByTimBooth) February 16, 2012
There has been speculation as to what exactly will be announced today - a proposal for a deal? A deal? The concepts of a deal? Putting together plans for a $500 million dollar arena will be insanely complicated so I'm refraining from getting my hopes up too much, but when you're using the words 'major announcement' I can't help but think it's more than simply conceptual. We'll see what this major announcement is at 2pm. Stay tuned...
From an excellent piece by Steve Miletich and Lynn Thompson of the Seattle Times, (a must read article, by the way), here is video of San Francisco Hedge Fund Manager and Seattle native Christopher Hansen discussing his plans for a new sports complex in Seattle.
Seattle has been dreaming of a big-time arena ever since they lost the Supersonics. Chris Hansen provides them that opportunity. Steve Miletich and Lynn Thompson of the Seattle Times reports on Hansen and gives more details on the hedge fund manager.
Hansen, dressed in a suit and an open-collared shirt, said he wants to recapture that feeling by translating his business success and making a significant personal investment, along with other investors, in a new arena and NBA team.
"This isn't about Chris Hansen," he said. "This is about an NBA team and a new arena."
Hansen said owning an NBA team is a dream he has had since college, and that this is the right "moment in time" to pursue it, despite having two young children and a growing business he started in 2008.
Hansen really is the type of guy who seems deeply invested in the city of Seattle. His backstory draws up the profile of a man who wants to do well by the city and give them new franchises that will keep one of the best cities in the world preoccupied with all four major sports.
The focus of this movement appears to be based on revitalizing the Sonics franchise, although the possibility of a hockey team as well does have a certain appeal. Hansen could become a galvanizing figure if he can deliver on his promises. Seattle has to feel pretty giddy at the thought of possibly getting their sports teams back.
KJR Sports Radio's Mitch Levy of the Mitch in the Morning show shared some information that he is apparently privy to, regarding the rumored arena deal announcement Thursday afternoon at 2:00pm. Mitch took to Twitter to leak a little of the information he's received.
Tomorrow is going to be a very good day for sports fans in the northwest who crave the return of the NBA!— mitch levy (@kjrmitch) February 16, 2012
Don't want to steal the Mayor's thunder & say too much about the proposed deal that he'll unveil tomorrow but I, for one, think its a BEAUTY— mitch levy (@kjrmitch) February 16, 2012
Essentially Hansen is asking for taxes that will be generated by this $450 to $500M to go back into the building cost of the arena— mitch levy (@kjrmitch) February 16, 2012
Talking about admission taxes, property taxes etc generated by the building that the city/county wouldnt have if the building didn't exist.— mitch levy (@kjrmitch) February 16, 2012
ZERO cost to the taxpayer. I repeat ZERO cost to the taxpayer.— mitch levy (@kjrmitch) February 16, 2012
A GREAT stat: If this plan goes through, there will be more PRIVATE money invested in this arena (appr $280M) than in all but 2 in history!— mitch levy (@kjrmitch) February 16, 2012
Only Madison Square Garden remodel and The Staples Center would have more private money invested in them than the new Seattle Sports Complex— mitch levy (@kjrmitch) February 16, 2012
Lots of you are asking: Ballpark figures -- $280M from private money, appr $200M from the taxes generated by the building if it is built— mitch levy (@kjrmitch) February 16, 2012
Lets let the Mayor - who by all accounts has been absolutely TERRIFIC thus far - take it from here tomorrow at City Hall— mitch levy (@kjrmitch) February 16, 2012
For fans of the NBA returning to Seattle, let's hope Mitch's information is correct.
According to the Seattle Times and originally reported by Chris Daniels of King-5 News, Seattle may be getting news of a new stadium much sooner than later as Christopher Hansen, the wealthy San Franciscan who wants to build a new sports arena in Seattle, will unveil his proposal at a news conference Thursday, says to two city sources with knowledge of the situation.
BREAKING: Source tells me press conference scheduled at #Seattle City Hall to announce deal on new sports arena complex...— Chris Daniels (@ChrisDaniels5) February 16, 2012
Hansen, the 44-year-old hedge-fund manager declined to discuss the timing of his meeting with three Seattle City Council members on Wednesday, but did mention why he is in town:
"We're very close to announcing our offer to the city. That's why I'm here," Hansen told The Seattle Times.
He also told the Times he is 'reluctantly' stepping forward with his plans now because of the intense fervor and nation-wide buzz created from the speculation around his proposal, though the details of his plans are still widely unknown.
Per the PI, Hansen owns property south of Safeco Field,
"And has reportedly been developing a plan with the city and the NBA for a year. If Seattle were to get the Kings, the team could play at KeyArena - the Sonics' old home - on a temporary basis, until a new venue is finished. Before the Sonics even left for Oklahoma City, and became the Thunder, the NBA had declared KeyArena an unsuitable venue.
It's unclear if Thursday's news conference will answer whether Seattle will soon have a new NBA team, but Hansen and Mayor Mike McGinn have an announcement regarding a new sports complex, according to reports. The news conference is scheduled for 2 p.m."
For more on the new Seattle stadium, follow this StoryStream.
Christopher Hansen has been one of the primary advocates of trying to get an NBA team back to Seattle. Hansen is an interesting figure. Hansen is 44 years old and an enigmatic hedge-fund manager who is from Seattle and is ready to make an investment that would help bring Seattle back their basketball team.
Unfortunately, it appears that the movement would come at the cost of another franchise. Nick Eaton of the Seattle PI reports that the team Hansen is targeting is from the Sacramento Kings. You can guess how happy people in Sacramento are about these developments.
On behalf of the 99% of us who make up the wonderful mosaic that is the great City of Sacramento, we have one message for the top 1/10th of the 1% who is engaged in actions detrimental to our community:
KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF OUR KINGS.
It's easy to see how difficult it is. Why would Seattle try and rip away a basketball team from another city that loves their team just as much as they loved their Sonics? This can only play well.
To talk about the movement by Seattle to try and take the Kings with Sacramento fans, head on over to Sactown Royalty.
As momentum builds towards a potential return of the NBA to Seattle, let's take a look back at some of the greatest moments in Sonics history.
Ailene Voisin, a columnist with The Sacramento Bee, told "The Kevin Calabro Show" on Monday that she thinks the owners of the Sacramento Kings are unlikely to move the team to Seattle if relocation becomes a possibility.
"The Maloofs really have no interest in going some place where they're going into an old building for a few years," Voisin said of Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof. "They're just not interested in that."
The Kings franchise would likely have to play in Key Arena while a new stadium was being built.
Voisin said that Anaheim, California has been mentioned by multiple people in the NBA and within the Kings organization as the most likely destination for the franchise if Sacramento can't get a deal done for a new arena by the March 1 deadline.
"If there's a building in Anaheim that's empty, there's also a lot of TV money in Anaheim that's sitting there," Voisin said. "FOX is looking for a deal, with the Lakers signing their big deal [worth at least $3 billion]. So I think I'm just convinced that right now, Anaheim is the threat to the Kings."
That would put three NBA franchises in Southern California and leave Portland and Golden State as the only two "northern" West Coast teams.
For more on the new stadium, make sure to follow this StoryStream.
Imagine a world where Seattle has professional teams in all five major sports: The National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, and Major League Soccer.
Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times wants Seattle Sonics fans put their pride aside if they truly want to see the NBA return to the Northwest, because without 'villans' like David Stern, this whole process of trying to build a new stadium will never leave the ground.
Kelley knows how hurt Seattle was when the Sonics were ripped from them, but also understands that time heals all wounds, and some times you just have to move forward:
We remember how unrelenting Stern was in his praise for OKC and how unbending he was when he talked with Washington's politicians....
We remember how confident we were that U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman was going to rule in favor of Seattle... But that was then and this is now. A new predominantly privately financed sports arena in Sodo is a real possibility, and it is a necessary addition to Seattle's cultural geography... It's time to forgive and time to move on.
But Seattle may have to hurt another city, Sacramento, if they want their NBA back. But ripping the Kings from Sac-Town like the Sonics were from Seattle won't do anyone any good, though Kelley isn't as sympathetic:
The NBA has been trying to help Sacramento for six years. The league basically set up an embassy there, trying to lobby local governments in an effort to get a new arena built...Isn't nearly six years of failed lobbying enough?
Compare the league's commitment to Sacramento to its lack of effort in Seattle. Stern made two trips to Olympia, where he wasn't in the mood for compromise, and finally said "see ya" to the Legislature...We shouldn't feel too sorry for Sacramento. It has had more than enough chances to keep its team.
The stadium is building steam with politicians and regular folks as well, and it's going to take a combined effort from all if they want to bring the NBA back to Seattle, hurt feelings or not.
For more on the new stadium, make sure to follow this StoryStream.
The rumors are beginning to swirl once again that the NBA could be bringing a team back to Seattle. The mayor of Seattle, Mike McGinn, has already weighed in on the NBA coming back to the city. Last week, the mayor of Sacramento also commented on basketball in Seattle.
"I honestly was looking through the newspaper trying to figure out if I was going to go to a Seattle SuperSonics game and it just hit me that they don't have a team anymore," said Johnson, who played in the NBA from 1987 to 2000. "I was out talking to people, and the community hasn't recovered from that. I don't wish that on anybody."
Johnson hopes Seattle someday gets an NBA team, but he's adamant it won't be the Sacramento Kings.
Condotta goes on to note that while former NBA player Johnson will do everything he can to keep the Kings in Sacramento, it will ultimately be up to Kings owners the Maloofs whether they choose to relocate the team.
For complete coverage of the NBA situation in Seattle, please stay tuned to this StoryStream. For updates and perspective on the Sacramento Kings, head on over to Sactown Royalty or visit SB Nation Bay Area.
The Seattle Sounders Football Club, an MLS team, likely benefited from the departure of the Seattle Supersonics when they set up shop in America's North West. While The Weekly Herald's John Boyle believes the professional soccer team would have succeeded in Seattle with or without the NBA as competition, he did say that the departure of the Supersonics to Oklahoma City, where they're now the Thunder, probably helped the Sounders because "sports fans with a little extra money and time on their hands."
Now it seems that there is a real chance that Seattle could be the home of either a new NBA team or possibly an NHL team. If that's the case, Sounders general manager and part owner Adrian Hanauer would support it.
"I don't know, but that's not in my hands," he said. "Generally as a Seattle guy, anything that improves the quality of life in the region, development in the city, I'm in favor of. If there is competition, we just have to rise to the occasion and be good competitors and good partners."
The Sounders attracted 38,000 fans per game in 2011 and that number is expected to rise in 2012. Hanauer said he has not been a part of the conversation with Vulcan Sports, a company that oversees the Sounders, the Seahawks and the Trailblazers, but he believes that, "everybody wants development and quality in our community."
For more on the Sounders, go to Sounder At Heart.
There's been a lot of talk recently on the prospect of the NBA returning to Seattle, and they're centered around reports citing hedge-fund manager Christopher Hansen's meetings with city officials, with the ultimate goal being a new multi-sport stadium in downtown Seattle.
Seattle Major Mike McGinn joined Ian Furness on SportsRadioKJR this week to talk about the behind-the-scenes action, with SportsRadioInterviews.com transcribing the conversation:
Is the city closer today than it was three or six months ago to building a new stadium:
"I think we have to say we are much closer than we were three months ago, six months ago or a year ago. I do think we have to say that. And I say that because Chris Hansen is a serious committed investor who appears to have the financial wherewithal and the business knowledge to move forward.
And we at the city side, when I met Chris and when we heard from him and his interest, and the fact he's from Seattle and interested in Seattle, we felt it was important for us to understand what our constraints were, to understand what we were could possibly do. And so to be in a position to make decisions and to talk with Chris. So those two things have occurred.
So you have on both sides of the equation a very serious level of commitment, and that's very different than it was a year ago. Now, again, I have to keep saying this: I cannot say how this all ends. Because I know there's a lot of excitement out there, and it would be a big financial commitment from the investors. They have to make their decision, we have to see how far they're willing to go and judge how far we're willing to go. Hopefully it will all meet in the middle."
On what the biggest hurdle is that investors must clear to getting construction started on a new stadium inside city limits:
"I would say the starting point is probably does it pencil financially from their side, and does it pencil out financially from our side. I think those are the two big questions. That's the first major hurdle, and if you can't get over that one, you can't get to any other hurdles.
And I think once we reach that point where we think we have something that protects our city budget, protects our long term interests as a city, and takes advantage of that opportunity, maybe other hurdles will emerge and at that point we'll see what they are. But I kind of think that's the starting point. And we've been very clear about what we think is important on our side."
Finally, the other question on everyone's mind...
Whether their would need to be a hockey team as well as a NBA team in order to make the deal work:
"My understanding is that they're interested in both, and that that's an important consideration to them."
Very interesting stuff from McGinn, and make sure you check out the rest of the interview here.
The prospect of having an NBA and/or NHL team in Seattle once again is an incredibly exciting thing for the entire Northwest, but unlike original reports, the plans to build a new sports arena aside Safeco Field may by further away than originally suggested.
ESPN 710’s Brock Huard has reported that sources close to the situation tell him that the process may not be as far along as people may think, and that there are some possible roadblocks from this becoming a reality.
Here’s Huard’s main argument:
First and foremost, according to my source, the possibility of the NBA returning back to Seattle is connected completely to Sacramento. There should be no false aspirations about Milwaukee or Memphis or New Orleans; the relocation plot is centered completely around the Sacramento Kings and their deadline looming March 1 for a new arena proposal.
That’s a big claim, because unlike Seattle a few years ago, the city of Sacramento is hell-bent on keeping the Kings where they are. The even sport an ex-NBA player as their mayor as well in Kevin Johnson, a very well respected NBA alum to say the least.
But ESPN’s Ric Bucher feels that the Kings might already be packing:
Huard also sites traffic issues on I-90 and the 520 Bridge and the ‘four hour rule’ in place in Seattle that states any event has to begin at least four hours after the other, meaning some logistical issues between the Seahawks, Mariners, Sounders, and a possible NBA and NHL team. But these are more inconveniences then hinderances.
But if the Kings fate is tied to Seattle, Seattle will do to Sacramento what Oklahoma City did to them.
Certainly are a lot of moving parts in this Arena situation, so make sure to follow this StoryStream to keep up with all the news.
There are many in Seattle and the surrounding areas that are desperate to bring an NBA team back to their city. As we all saw with the Sonics, there is plenty of interest in the city and many want to see a new arena built to move along the talks to have professional basketball back once again. According to this report, NBA Commissioner David Stern appears to be serious and genuine about bringing the league back to Seattle.
But for the first time since the SuperSonics left for Oklahoma City nearly four years ago, it appears that Stern is open to having a team return to the Emerald City.
"Everyone says to us, 'Well, would you consider going back?' Of course, if they have a building," Stern said during an interview with Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune on Tuesday.
Smith, a beat reporter covering the Utah Jazz, told "The Kevin Calabro Show" on 710 ESPN Seattle that Stern seemed genuine with his comments.
"I was impressed by the tone of his voice and the honesty, and exactly what he said," Smith said.
Actions speak louder than words and this all may just be some smoke to get the Seattle media off him, but Stern would be an instrumental figure in bringing the NBA back to Seattle. It remains to be seen if he follows through, though.
As for you basketball fans in the area, write your congress representatives, support the NBA in any way possible and show up to rallies to build support. The fans will need to play a huge role if they hope to have a team back in their city.
Seattle wants a new NBA team and plenty of people are plotting behind the scenes to make that wish a reality. But the main reasons the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City in the first place still need to be rectified. And as usual, it all comes back to money.
"We had heard reports of some interest in Seattle and the name of the person who's associated with it is not totally unknown to me. I think he came in and I met with him, it must be a year ago. Just a general conversation; he was brought in by a mutual friend."
According to the Seattle Times, Christopher Hansen, a hedge-fund manager, is working towards getting a basketball arena built south of Safeco Field. He's spent the past eight months doing so. A new arena and funding are Seattle's primary roadblocks in getting a team.
"Everyone says to us, ‘Well, would you consider going back?' Of course, if they have a building. And so that's where it's left. We have no involvement," Stern said [to the Salt Lake City Tribune]. "But we certainly are - if anyone asks us, we tell them what we know and we're happy to talk to them. ...There's no shortage of potential sites, but the funding is a huge issue."
"If somebody is going to come forward and spend hundreds of millions of dollars and invest it in our city, we have to take that seriously," McGinn told KING 5.
The Sacramento Kings were floated as a potential relocation target for Seattle to lure, but it just doesn't feel right. If Seattle is going to take a team, it needs to learn lessons from the past.
According to the Seattle Times, the Seattle Mayor's office and a wealthy hedge-fund manager based in San Francisco have been working behind the scenes for the past eight months in an effort to bring the NBA back to Seattle. According to an article published on Saturday, "a Dec. 13 agenda for a meeting between the parties shows they were talking about details such as a "Review of Basic Deal Structure," "Financing Issues," including "City Debt Capacity," and "Security for Public Financing.""
That meeting was attended by Julie McCoy, chief of staff to Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, and Ethan Raup, the mayor's director of policy and operations, and was set up by Carl Hirsh, a New Jersey arena consultant hired by the city in July. They also discussed using KeyArena, where the Sonics played, as a temporary home for a new team with the permission of the NBA until a new stadium could be built.
As for Christopher Hansen, the mysterious hedge-fund manager who is spearheading this effort - he's a 44-year old Seattle native with, apparently, the means to do some investing. He approached the city with his idea, and his vision was laid out in an email to McCoy and Raup, that was obtained by the Times in a public disclosure request:
"Thanks for spending the time today guys. I really appreciate it and look forward to making this happen in Seattle. I genuinely mean that and am confident that with a little effort and creativity we can find a solution that meets our needs and the City's /State's desire to get a team back to Seattle without a large public outlay."
Make sure you check out that Seattle Times piece for more on the situation. We'll keep you updated as new developments go public.
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