Read the full text of Chris Hansen's letter to the city and county pledging all-private funding for his proposed Sodo arena.
In a letter to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine, arena investor Chris Hansen proposed an all-private funding model for a new NBA and NHL arena in Sodo.
Hansen’s project had been in limbo since May, when the Seattle City Council turned down his request to vacate a part of Occidental Avenue S., so the land could be used for the facility. A funding deal between Hansen, the city and King County called for up to $200 million in municipal-bond funding for the project if an NBA franchise was first obtained.
But now, with the all-private proposal, that money no longer would be in play. In return, Hansen, who also says he’ll kick in money for an overpass that would potentially ease Sodo traffic congestion, says he wants the city to give up the portion of Occidental needed for arena construction to begin.
“The goal of this partnership was to build the arena and bring an NBA team to Seattle,’’ states the letter, signed by Hansen and his partners, Wally Walker and Peter and Erik Nordstrom. “Public financing was simply a mechanism that made that possible at the time. We have concluded that a changed economic climate makes possible the private financing of the arena.”
Read the full text of Hansen’s letter below: