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King County Council Establishes Panel to Review Arena Deal

The Metropolitan King County Council has named a review panel meant to scrutinize the potential deal for a new sports and entertainment arena in Seattle. The arena proposal, which was proposed by San Francisco hedge fund manager Christopher Hansen, was agreed upon by Seattle mayor Mike McGinn and County Executive Dow Constantine, but will now be vetted by the independent council.

King County Council member Joe McDermott, the chair of the budget committee, convened the seven-member panel made up of University of Washington professor Bill Beyers, expert in economic analysis of stadiums; Seattle economist Dick Conway; transportation planner Charlie Howard; former Washington Secretary of Transportation Doug MacDonald; UW associate professor Justin Marlowe, a specialist in public financial management; Seattle developer Steve Orser; and Tracey Thompson, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 117.

This committee will meet on June 5th and June 19th, with a joint hearing with the City Council and County Council set for sometime in July to hash out the details. For more on the Review Panel, head over to the Seattle Times to read Bob Young's take on the situation or head to's article that includes some quotes from County Council members on the arena proposal.