Chris Hansen's announcement this morning is fantastic news and a huge win for Seattle and our entire region. Throughout our Council work to improve the proposal, Chris Hansen negotiated fairly and has kept his word. He is doing exactly what he told us he would do—working to return NBA basketball to Seattle. There is more work ahead, but this is a giant leap toward bringing the Sonics back home to Seattle.
I was privileged to lead the Council's review of the Mayor's initial arena proposal and insisted on significant changes in the agreement to improve public benefits, including:
- Stronger legal and financial protections for the city and county governments.
- Reduction in the inherent risks of this type of public-private partnership.
- Creation of a transportation fund with $40 million in initial funding for SODO freight and pedestrian mobility improvements.
After the Council committee negotiated a revised memorandum of agreement with Hansen, the full City Council approved it by a 7-2 vote on October 12, 2012 (Ordinance 124019).Read my previous posts on the SODO arena and Sonics here.