Wealthy Venture Capitalist To Search For New Seattle Sports Team

After winning the approval of the Seattle City Council for a new sports arena just south of downtown, the search is on for an NBA or NHL team wil1ling to move to the city. Chris Hansen, a wealthy venture capitalist, has begun searching for a sports team that can replace the Sonics and fill the house of the proposed sports arena.

Council members voted 6-2 to approve investor Chris Hansen’s plan for a $490 million arena near the Seahawks and Mariners stadiums south of downtown. The plan calls for $200 million in public investment, and Hansen has personally guaranteed to cover the city’s debt if the arena’s finances don’t work out. The arena could also house an NHL team. (source)

While the proposed stadium must still pass an environmental review and win the approval of the King County Council, many residents are hopeful that the arena will bring jobs, benefit local businesses and increase the value of the surrounding real estate. But the proposed arena does have its opponents.  City Council member Richard Conlin isn’t confident that a new sports arena will benefit the city financially and he wants to see more concrete proof before giving his stamp of approval. And the Port of Seattle opposes the new sports arena because they fear that it will have a negative impact on parking and traffic in the Sodo area.  The King County Council hopes to vote on the arena by October 15, 2012.

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