Earlier this week, Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin, in an email to some constituents, said that while he supports the NBA's return to Seattle, he thinks a new arena that would house both NBA and NHL franchises south of Safeco Field in SoDo should be built with only private money. In the email, Conlin noted: "When Mr. Hanson made his presentation to the City Council, he indicated that there is not a financial plan that requires public investment in this project. There were also no good reasons given as to why this project should receive public financial support, unlike any other business that would like to locate in Seattle. The City works with businesses to manage transportation, land use, and regulatory issues, but we do not invest public money in businesses."
Conlin ended the email by noting, "On balance, I think it is unlikely that this proposal will be approved. I encourage proponents of a new basketball team to lobby Mr. Hanson [sic] to pursue this as a private enterprise with public cooperation but without the complex financial arrangements and public investment that the current proposal appears to rely on."
Conlin's fellow councilmembers Sally Clark and Jean Godden were quick to point out that his opinion wasn't unanimous, and that in their opinion, support was still strong for the Arena deal in the City Council. Still, as we've come to expect from Arena Deal lead-partner Chris Hansen, he penned a response that seeks to address Mr. Conlin's claims that Hansen has given no good reasons for public financing. You can read that letter, with Hansen's response as to why public financing makes sense for Seattle, HERE.
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