The Seattle arena deal has been a situation I have tracked very closely over the past several months. As a sports fan located in the Pacific Northwest, the potential return of the NBA and the potential arrival of the NHL to Seattle both excite me tremendously.
It has been a little while since I wrote on the issue, and figured it was time for a bit of an update.
Sports fans in the Pacific Northwest have been desperate for a professional basketball team to return after the Sonics were ripped away to Oklahoma City a few years ago. While hockey isn’t as popular as basketball in Seattle or its surrounding areas, there are a lot of diehard hockey fans in the Seattle area.
There are a lot of risks related to the construction of a facility home to a professional sports team (or two). Financially, the city the facility is located in and its associated taxpayers are often footed with the bill, while the team’s owner can minimize or avoid losses and the local politicians who signed off on the contribution of public funds typically escape criticism. These facilities can have a significant impact on surrounding businesses, traffic flow, and the environment for good and bad.
How is Chris Hansen minimizing these risks with his proposed arena for the SoDo (south of downtown) Seattle arena?