StoryMetropolitan King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer released this statement today on the agreement between investor Christopher Hansen and the city of Seattle on the proposed SoDo arena:
“While it is too early to hoist a green and white flag on top of the Space Needle, these amendments represent a positive step forward in returning the NBA to our region.
“If the proposed amendments are adopted by the Seattle City Council they will address many of the concerns I raised in opposing the initial proposal offered by Mayor McGinn and County Executive Constantine.
“The proposed amendments put the public back into the process. Just as you cannot build an arena on a weak physical foundation, government officials should not commit public tax dollars without a strong public process. These amendments will get the horse back in front of the cart, and allow for a healthy public evaluation of the SODO site and, of equal importance, a review of other sites in the region.
“In agreeing to these proposals Chris Hansen reaffirmed why he should be the kind of team owner that Seattle needs....one in the profile of Lloyd Nordstrom, Paul Allen and the Mariner investors, willing to invest in an enterprise for the good of the region, not just for a quick profit. He has spent the past weeks quietly talking with those who supported and opposed the initial proposal, working to find a path that could accommodate as many as possible in helping to return the NBA to our region.
“This agreement is an important first step forward, but it is just one step in a long path of steps to bring the NBA back to our region.”