Could there be a happy ending for basketball fans in Seattle? We might very well get one, although it might not end well for another team. Michael Simeona of MyNorthwest.com reports that the plans seem to be in place to put together the arena that the city couldn't put together years ago, resulting in the Sonics deserting Seattle for Oklahoma City.
Christopher Hansen, a wealthy San Francisco hedge-fund manager and Seattle native, has been working behind the scenes to bring an NBA team back to the Emerald City. In recent months, Hansen has purchased land south of the Safeco Field parking garage and told city officials that a sports arena could be built with minimal impact on tax payers.
Public funding for a new arena could include admission taxes and increased tax collections tied to a boost in Sodo property values, according to documents obtained by the Seattle Times. In an email to city leaders, Hansen said he's "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."
The Supersonics franchise was unceremoniously relocated five years from Seattle to Oklahoma City despite massive public resistance nationwide and particular regional resistance. There is also the possibility of a hockey team, which would make sense for the Northwestern city.
I'm sure Seattle would be happy to have an NBA team back. Would they feel happy that they had to probably take a squad from another city? Probably not too much, since two wrongs would hardly make a right, but there's no doubt that there's a groundswell of support for basketball in Seattle.