On October 25, 2016 –the first day of the ninth NBA Season without the Sonics in Seattle–Chris Hansen announced that his investor group is removing the public financing component completely from the SoDO arena proposal, making an already outstanding deal even better and reigniting the hopes of Sonics fans everywhere!
- Seattle Arena group offers to privately finance arena, fix Lander Street (KING 5)
- Chris Hansen offers to build Seattle an arena without public funding (DEADSPIN)
- Billionaire offers to fund construction of arena to bring NBA back to Seattle (Sports Illustrated)
- Seattle investor group offers to privately finance new NBA arena (ESPN)
- Hansen arena group buys more SoDo land, investing nearly $125 total (KING 5)
On November 14, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson announced he is joining the SoDo arena investment group and will help lead the charge to bring the NBA back to Seattle!
- Russell Wilson joins SoDo arena group (KING 5)
- Boomshakalaka! Let’s bring the Sonics back – by Russell Wilson (Players Tribune)
- Russell Wilson on SoDo arena: ‘The Time is Now” (KING 5)
- Street vacation allows for NHL-first arena with private financing (KING 5)
- Seattle is a sports city – by Russell Wilson (SonicsArena.com)
- Chris Hansen talks Seahawks, arena (KING 5)
- Hansen group buys more land, investment now close to $125 million (KING 5)
The SoDo arena group is expected to re-file the Occidental Avenue Street Vacation petition in 2017 along with the amended financing plan that removes the city’s $200 million bonding obligation.
A second investment group led by Tim Leiweke has emerged to express interest in remodeling KeyArena. The details are expected to be revealed during the City of Seattle’s Request for Proposal (RFP) process in early 2017. The SoDo proposal is years ahead in terms of private financing details, environmental impact studies, existing transportation infrastructure and community engagement. However, all due diligence is expected in evaluating the options on the table, finally putting an end to this ongoing arena saga in Seattle. Mayor Ed Murray and the Seattle City Council say a final decision is coming in spring 2017. We need strong leadership from our elected officials to approve a viable arena plan in Seattle once and for all.
- Leiweke talks KeyArena plans, working with Hansen (KING 5)
- Early spring for arena decision, mayor says (KING 5)
- Mayor Ed Murray talks arena news with Mitch (KJR 950)
- City leaders explain KeyArena proposal, hear neighborhood concerns (KING 5)
- Tear KeyArena down for housing (Seattle Transit Blog)
- KeyArena teardown an option, according to RFP (KING 5)
- Seattle announces plans to request KeyArena proposals (KING 5)
- AEG president says world class facility possible at Seattle Center (Seattle Times)
- Seattle Center parking study shows significant neighborhood impact of a new arena (City of Seattle)
All of this movement comes at a time when rumors are swirling about NBA and NHL expansion or relocation to Seattle.
- Seattle is a far better market than at least 10 NBA cities (NBA.com)
- Amico Sources: NBA making Seattle return a priority (ProBasketballDigest)
- NBA could begin expansion talks after new CBA (Real GM)
- NBA, players union reach tentative CBA terms (ESPN)
- Kevin Durant hasn’t forgotten about Seattle (Sports Illustrated)
- NHL Expansion: Seattle arena project roars back to life (TheHockeyWriters)