Seattle new NBA and NHL arena approved by city council

September 23, 2012


September 24, 2012

Seattle City Council approves new arena

Lynn Thompson
The Seattle Times 

The Seattle City Council voted to approve an agreement with investor Chris Hansen to build a $490 million sports and entertainment arena in Sodo.

Council members praised the revised agreement as providing significant protections for the public’s $200 million contribution and providing a revenue stream to address transportation issues in Sodo and the future of KeyArena.

“This is about a can-do spirit looking to the future and grabbing an opportunity that has been presented to the city,” said Councilmember Tim Burgess.

The vote was 6-2, with Councilmembers Richard Conlin and Nick Licata voting no. Conlin said the taxes generated by private business should go to public needs, not a private enterprise such as a for-profit sports arena.

Licata said he didn’t want to support huge public subsidies for a private business that doesn’t provide measurable public benefit.

The complex financial agreement now goes to the King County Council for ratification. County Councilmember Bob Ferguson said:  “Basketball and hockey fans in our region reason have reason to cheer today, with the Seattle City Council approving a revised MOU (memorandum of understanding), but the final buzzer hasn’t sounded yet. In order to move forward with the proposed arena, all three parties – City, County, and private investors – must reach a final unified agreement.”

In a prepared statement, Hansen praised Seattle’s elected officials for working diligently on the proposed deal: “I think that today’s vote demonstrates that by listening to each other and working hard to address the concerns of all stakeholders that we can make the arena a reality and bring professional basketball and hockey back to Seattle.” He acknowledged that there is still much more work to do.


Video: Chris Hansen and Seattle City Council reach deal on new NBA/NHL arena


Video: Seattle Mayor McGinn on new arena deal
Please excuse the video quality but, excellent interview


NHL could expand to Seattle in three years, says investor

Jason Brough
NBC News

Seattle may be on the verge of getting a new NHL-caliber arena, and there may be investors willing to bring an NHL franchise to the Pacific Northwest city, but one pesky problem remains.

“I can tell you there are not teams for sale that are available to move,” Chicago Wolves owner Don Levin told ESPN the Magazine on Wednesday.

Levin would love to own an NHL team in Seattle, which he’s called “probably the best market in the United States that does not have a hockey team demographically.”

But how could he get one?

ESPN asked Levin about two potential relocation targets – the Phoenix Coyotes and New York Islanders.

On the Coyotes, Levin figures Greg Jamison will eventually purchase the team and keep it in Glendale.

As for the other, “The answer to the Islanders moving is never. They’re not moving out of that market. No chance that’s going to happen.

We’d agree with him on the Isles — with a new rink, they could easily be profitable — but we’re not so sure about the Coyotes.

Of course, even if Levin did think the Coyotes were primed to move, he’s not about to say it. You don’t get on the NHL’s good side that way. Just ask Jim Balsillie.

For now, Levin is focused on expansion, which he believes could happen in three years.

Hopefully the lockout will be over by then.


Closest NBA teams to Seattle

Portland Trail Blazers


Closest NHL teams to Seattle

Vancouver Canucks


Other sporting news

Video: Charlotte breaks ground on a new uptown AAA baseball park



Charlotte Knights

Knights Stadium (Existing Stadium)

Opened in 1990 in suburban Charlotte across the state line in Fort Mill, South Carolina

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