Entrepreneur Chris Hansen wanted to buy a city street in order to build a new NBA arena. Today, the city council narrowly rejected that request.
Entrepreneur Chris Hansen wanted to buy a city street in order to build a new NBA arena. Today, the city council narrowly rejected that request. anderm/Shutterstock

The city will not sell entrepreneur Chris Hansen a city street in order to facilitate his plan to build a new basketball (and/or hockey) arena in Sodo.

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Today's vote came down to three council members who weren't saying where they stood ahead of the meeting: Kshama Sawant, Debora Juarez, and Lorena González. This afternoon, all three voted against the street vacation deal, joining Sally Bagshaw and Lisa Herbold in opposition. Council Members Bruce Harrell, Tim Burgess, Rob Johnson, and Mike O'Brien voted in favor. The fight pit sports fans against maritime and port interests, who oppose allowing a new stadium in Sodo.

The Seattle Times:

In return for giving up the block of Occidental, the city would have received fair market value of $18 million to $20 million from Hansen, in addition to public benefits like a pedestrian overpass, a public park and enhanced sidewalk space.

The previously estimated $490 million arena price tag is now believed to have soared well beyond $500 million, but the city and county would be on the hook for only up to $200 million in public bond funds if Hansen acquires the NBA franchise before the November 2017 expiration of a deal between him, the city and King County.

...

Bagshaw and Herbold argued that giving Hansen the street vacation — which is valid for up to five years — would have prompted him to seek an extension of his memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the city and county once the November 2017 deadline rolls around.






In a statement after the vote, Mayor Ed Murray, who supported the street vacation, said the council's vote "makes it less likely that the NBA will return to the City of Seattle. Despite today’s vote, I remain committed to exploring all options to bring the NBA and NHL, not just to our region, but to a new arena in the City of Seattle.”

By the way, the irrelevant gender breakdown of the vote—men in favor, women against—is making people say some stupid stuff. Please don't.