Seattle to Study Self-Funded Arena for a New NBA Team

Newsletter, West
Thursday, March 8, 2012
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Seattle's Key Arena, former home of the Seattle SuperSonics (via Flickr by jscatty).

Thanks to Jeremy Lin’s meteoric rise, Kobe Bryant’s broken nose, and Blake Griffin’s dunks, basketball is once again on everybody’s mind. Now Seattle, missing an NBA team since the 2008 departure of the Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City (renamed the Thunder), has a concrete plan to bring the NBA back. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine have announced plans for a self-funded arena sponsored by private investor Christopher Hansen, according to King County.

Mr. Hansen’s proposal outlines raising $290 million for a new arena downtown, near the Seattle Mariners’ baseball stadium and the Seattle Seahawks’ football stadium. Mayor McGinn and Mr. Constantine have appointed a financial panel to assess the proposal, which must also fund a study to examine the possible revival of the city’s former basketball venue, Key Arena.

“This is great news for Seattle. On first look, we have an exciting proposal that, if successful, would mean hundreds of millions of dollars of private investment in our city—an investment that means even more during our city’s fragile economic recovery,” said Mayor McGinn.

Below, watch Mayor McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine’s speech about the new team and arena.

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