According to the AP, Seattle is one step closer to a new stadium and a new professional basketball team.
Council members voted 6-2 to approve Chris Hansen’s plan for a $490 million arena near the Seahawks and Mariners stadiums south of downtown.
”I was a skeptic when this came forward because I was worried about our taxpayers,” said Councilwoman Sally Bagshaw. ”The fact that we have a personal guarantee from Mr. Hansen … that makes a big difference.
”At the end, we’re going to have something the city is proud of.”
Lynn Thompson at the Seattle Times explains the next steps in the process:
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[sic] 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.
And here’s Chris Hansen and Gary Payton straight chillin’ back in June.
Hansen has almost single-handedly gotten Seattle to this point (he’s also bought a lot of land around the site, so he’ll probably cash out nicely if they get a team). If there was ever a reason to become a billionaire investor, it’s so you can bring a professional basketball team back to your city.