Recently, questions have been raised about the chances of bringing an NBA or NHL franchise back to Seattle. We are doing everything we can to bring both leagues here. It starts with a world-class arena, and we want to remind our supporters of all the work that has been done to date to do just that.
It has been five years since we began the process to bring the Sonics back to Seattle. Since that time, we have invested more than $100 million to acquire land in the city’s stadium district, paid for a lengthy environmental review, traffic and parking studies, economic impact studies, and a Key Arena study.
We worked with both the Seattle Arena Review Panel and King County Expert Review Panel to answer questions and refine our proposal. We have worked with both the Seattle City Council and the King County Council through numerous hearings, a three-year Seattle Downtown Design Review process, and ten meetings of the Seattle Design Review Board that resulted in unanimous recommended approval of the street vacation. In addition, the Seattle Department of Transportation street vacation review process recommended approval of our proposal. More recently we have negotiated cooperative scheduling agreements with the Seahawks, Mariners, and Sounders.
Our committed local ownership group bid on the only NBA franchise to come up for sale since this process started. That bid included a $30 million non-refundable deposit. We have also had many discussions with potential NHL ownership groups and, most recently, agreed to build the arena with private resources.
The record clearly demonstrates our steadfast determination to bring basketball and hockey back to Seattle. That has been the case since we started this project in 2011 and remains the case today. Our ownership group will always put our individual aspirations second to securing an NBA franchise for our great city.
We appreciate the Mayor’s commitment to returning the NBA and NHL to Seattle, and look forward to continuing our work with him and the City Council to make that happen.
— Chris Hansen, Wally Walker, Russell Wilson, Erik Nordstrom, and Pete Nordstrom