Chris Hansen, a wealthy hedge fund manager and devoted Seattle sports fan, won approval Monday for a plan that would bring both hockey and basketball to Seattle.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: The city of Seattle needed hoops back. Hockey is just a bonus.
There hasn't been an NBA there team since 2008, when the Seattle Supersonics (one of the NBA's most classically iconic teams, in my opinion) moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder. Being a young, new and excited team like the Thunder never mattered to Seattle fans, (I know many and I love them all) who have felt robbed ever since.
The city lost their Hockey team, The Metropolitans, in 1924. Interestingly enough, The Metropolitans were the first American team to win the Stanley Cup (1917).
But enough of Seattle losing it's teams. I'm happy to report that pretty soon, the city will get a few arteries of it's sports heart back.
It was reported today that Seattle City Council members voted 6-2 to approve Chris Hansen's plan for a $490 million stadium to be built to house the future Seattle pro basketball and hockey teams. The council members voted in favor of the plan on the promise that Hansen himself guarantee part of the debt. Hansen, an early Facebook investor, made his argument even more convincing when he offered to kick in money for improvements and said he would buy back the arena for $200 million at the end of its proposed 30-year use agreement.
He also agreed to be audited to show he's worth at least $300 million or in other words, enough to be able to pay back the city for the arena.
Opponents of the proposal raised concerns specifically related to the traffic that will result and substantially increase around the Port of Seattle, an important shipping hub.
The SuperSonics became an NBA franchise in 1967. After more than 40 years as an NBA team and multiple failed efforts to get State of Washington government funding to improve KeyArena where the Sonics played, the team's ownership group moved the franchise to Oklahoma and became the Thunder.
The new and approved deal of the arena will have to first undergo an environmental review, which can take a year to complete.
Maybe we will see the green, yellow and white SuperSonics uniforms as early as 2014?? What do you think, Hoopsvibers??
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