Seattle voters passed Initiative 91 in 2006 with 74% voting yes. Initiative 91 requires that the City of Seattle receive “fair value” return on any investment by Seattle taxpayers in facilities provided for professional sports organizations. Whether the proposal for the SODO arena meets the terms of I-91 is one of the key issues the City Council is analyzing in its arena deliberations. Recently, we have received a number of perspectives about how this proposal intersects with I-91.
The Mayor’s staff presented their perspective on June 29; you watch their presentation on the Seattle Channel, and view their accompanying document here.
City Council staff presented their analysis on July 5; you can watch their presentation on the Seattle Channel, and view their accompanying presentation here.
In addition, on July 5 the authors of Initiative 91 testified before the City Council, and investor Chris Hansen released a power point presentation with his perspective.
It’s my impression that both the Mayor and Council agree on meeting the intent of I-91, rather than getting involved in the legalese about whether the initiative applies at all.