We’re proud to be partnering with the Seattle Storm in support of the annual Seattle Pro-Am, the hoops event featuring current NBA stars.
Join us for a doubleheader of great Seattle basketball on Friday, July 10, when the Storm take on the Phoenix Mercury at 7 pm at KeyArena, which will be followed by the Seattle Pro-Am — featuring honorary coaches Lenny Wilkins, Shawn Kemp, and Gary Payton — at 10 pm.
For more information, and to buy tickets, visit the Seattle Storm website. And to commemorate the event, the first 3,000 people arriving to the Storm game will receive a t-shirt.
Now that the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Seattle Arena has been released and we know there are no significant adverse impacts standing in the way of completing the permitting process, we thought it a good time to step back and review the important aspects of the Arena Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) approved by the Seattle and King County Councils in 2012.
HOW THE PUBLIC IS INVOLVED
The Arena will be developed and primarily financed with private funds. The public participation is designed to be self-financing and requires no new taxes or fees. The public financial participation will be repaid solely with Arena generated revenues that would not otherwise exist. The MOU includes multiple layers of protection built into the financing that protect the general funds and bond ratings of the city and county from being affected. A few of the key protections included in the MOU are as follow:
No public financial participation is triggered until an NBA franchise is acquired and located in Seattle via a binding non-relocation agreement.
Multiple reserve funds are established that protect the City from ever coming out of pocket to fund any Arena tax revenue shortfalls. The public participation is further backstopped by the value of the franchises themselves via guarantees in the MOU.
100% of any construction cost overrun is borne by the Arena’s private investors.
If only an NBA team is acquired, public participation is capped at $125 million until an NHL team is acquired.
City will own the Arena and land underneath outright, even after 100% of the public participation has been repaid.
The MOU establishes a separate fund from ArenaCo contributions and Arena revenues to finance ongoing maintenance and repair and future capital upgrades to the facility.
The Arena shall be designed and constructed in collaboration with the City and County and their consultants and staff.
ArenaCo will maintain Labor Peace Agreements with labor organizations which represent workers in King County.
The MOU creates a $40 million fund to improve transportation infrastructure in the SoDo area.
REGIONAL BENEFITS OF THE ARENA
Arena construction would support approximately 3,570 jobs and $289 million in wage earnings — ArenaCo commits to using the City of Seattle’s Inclusion Plan as guidance for the use of WMBE’s on the project.
NBA and NHL franchises will create demand of upwards of 5,000 hotel room nights per season, providing a boost to tourism during the winter months.
Gross regional economic activity from Arena operations would generate approximately $313 million in economic activity annually.
COMMUNITY BENEFITS OF THE ARENA
ArenaCo will enter into a Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) with appropriate community organizations that will be affected by the Arena, including Pioneer Square and the Chinatown/International District, to address potential economic, transportation, parking, or public safety concerns related to the Arena and its operation.
The NBA team housed in the Arena will be required to make tickets to games affordable to middle and low-income families by offering 1,500 tickets per game at reduced prices ($20 or less).
ArenaCo will require teams to establish partnerships with organizations throughout King County that serve youth and underserved communities, particularly those areas identified as having health and education disparities by Public Health Seattle-King County.
The NBA franchise will establish partnerships with the goal of contributing to the success and health of youth with initiatives such as scholarship funds, after-school programs, youth mentorship and improved basketball facilities in the region to increase opportunities to play and learn the game of basketball.