The long-awaited Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Seattle Arena has been released and it is a greenlight for us to continue moving forward to finish the remaining work needed for the final construction permits. A summary of that document is provided below for your information.
We want to thank the city staff and technical consultants who worked hard to get this document completed and published. It is a major milestone in our journey to bring the NBA and NHL back to Seattle.
We also wanted to take the opportunity to reiterate that we remain 100% supportive of the NHL returning to Seattle and playing in the Arena — and are completely open to the prospect of that occurring prior to the NBA. In light of recent speculation, we would just like to clarify that we have sought to be as accommodating as possible in our negotiations with potential NHL partners, with our only major requirements being that such a deal does not jeopardize the process or put the City, County, Taxpayers or us in a worse financial position.
Lastly, we also want to extend our sincere thanks to all of you who have stood by us these past several years. Your support has meant so much to us and made a huge impact on the success of this important project. The EIS is clearly a significant milestone, but there is much more work to be done and we greatly appreciate the continued support from all Seattle sports fans.
— Chris Hansen, Pete Nordstrom, Erik Nordstrom, and Wally Walker
The final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Seattle Arena was published today. This 600 + page document, 2 years in the making, is the product of an exhaustive examination of a number of important issues such as construction impacts, transportation and freight impacts and parking and economic impacts.
While a number of potential transportation impacts, and associated mitigation measures to address those impacts were identified, no significant adverse impacts in any other area were identified.
No significant unavoidable adverse impacts to the street system, public transportation, bicyclists, and bicycle corridors are expected. The order of magnitude of change in traffic volumes associated with an arena for any event falls within the range of current event experience. There would be an increase in traffic volumes during peak conditions on event days, which would occur more frequently with the addition of an arena. A number of measures have been identified to reduce the level of traffic volumes, including demand reduction, and management of vehicles to orient them to the most appropriate route.
- The EIS studied various scenarios with multiple events at the different stadium venues, up to a maximum attendance of 72,500, such as a typical Seahawks game. With the addition of the Seattle Arena the number of these large event days would increase.
- Traffic impacts and travel time effects from an arena only event would generally be the same or slightly less than a Mariners only event.
- Adding Arena events to days with Mariners and Century Link events (other than Seahawks) will somewhat increase traffic impacts in the area, but not beyond the maximum 72,500 cumulative attendance already seen at Seahawk games.
- The seasonal overlap between NBA/NHL games and baseball and soccer is limited to a relatively small period in the spring and fall. Throughout the winter NBA/NHL season Arena events would not compete against major events in the existing two stadiums. The smaller number of Seahawk games facilitates joint scheduling during the winter.
- Various potential mitigation measures were identified to address the transportation impacts, including local intersection improvements, sidewalk improvements for pedestrian traffic, a new pedestrian bridge across the railroad tracks on Holgate and contributions to other mitigation measures identified by the City.
- The full annual delay costs to Port related traffic from additional Arena traffic is estimated to be $115,584. For non-Port truck trips the estimated delay costs are estimated to be $66,141.
- The construction related economic activity from direct and re-spending is estimated at $533 million.
- Arena construction would support approximately 3,570 jobs and $289 million in wage earnings.
- Gross regional economic activity from Arena operations would generate approximately $313 million in economic activity annually.
We know things have seemed pretty quiet on the arena front the past several months but there is a lot going on. So as we head into Super Bowl weekend we wanted to take a minute to give you all a quick update.
First, we want to thank Mayor Murray for his leadership. Not only has he asked his staff to look for ways to streamline and speed-up the Environmental Review Process, on his way to Washington DC last week he stopped by the NBA to meet with Commissioner Silver and express the city’s commitment to do its part to bring the NBA back to Seattle. That’s great.
The Commissioner was very positive about Seattle but couldn’t make any commitments at this point, which is really to be expected. While we understand both Sonics fans’ and the Mayor’s disappointment, the most important task at hand remains getting the EIS process wrapped-up so we will be in the position to take advantages of future opportunities that arise, which can happen quickly and without years of advance notice that building an arena requires.
The EIS is moving along at a good pace and we are getting close to having that part of the process finished. There are a few remaining issues that need to be addressed but good progress is being made and we are confident things will be wrapped-up soon. We will do our best to keep you all posted as we move forward.
Our commitment to bring the Sonics back to Seattle is as strong today as it was the first day we announced the arena project – or the day of the great rally we all enjoyed at Occidental Park. The process has been exhaustive and at times frustrating, but in the end we will have completed a big step toward our goal of bringing NBA basketball back to Seattle.
Finally, we want to send a big thanks to all of you. You have stood by us from the beginning and we appreciate that more than you know.
— Chris Hansen, Wally Walker, Pete Nordstrom, Erik Nordstrom
Jan 19 Messages from Chris
Congrats to the Seahawks on another amazing win. The unbending will and determination the team showed yesterday was truly the stuff legends are made of. Just like most of you, as the last three minutes of the game and overtime unfolded I was struck with two thoughts:
"Did this really just happen?" And "I know I'm going to be telling my grandkids someday that I was at this game and of the lore of this team."
I really didn't think anything would ever top "The Tip" from last year's NFC Championship, but this was EASILY the most memorable and momentous moment in Seattle sports history. Wow!
Congrats to Paul, Pete, John, and the entire team and organization for another amazing win, another amazing season, and another trip to the Super Bowl.
Go get 'em guys!
— Chris Hansen
Dec 22 Messages from Chris
As we close out 2014, I wanted to take a moment to thank all the amazing fans who have stood by us as we work to bring our Sonics back to the Emerald City. I also want you all to know that we remain just as committed to bringing NBA basketball back to Seattle as we were the day we first announced Sonics Arena.
From my family to yours, have a wonderful holiday season and a healthy New Year. Bring on 2015!
— Chris Hansen
Chris Hansen challenged Pete & Erik Nordstrom to pour frigid water over their heads in the name of ALS research.
Chris Hansen challenged Sir-Mix-A-Lot to promote ALS research. Here's what happened.
Wally Walker responds to Chris Hansen's challenge for ALS research.
First I would like to congratulate Steve Ballmer on his apparent successful bid for the Los Angeles Clippers. Steve's passion for basketball and commitment to the NBA will make him a great owner and strong asset for the league.
I would also like to assure Seattle fans that my remaining partners and I remain committed to bringing the NBA back to Seattle. The environmental review process for the Seattle Arena is nearing completion and we will soon be in a strong position to attract a franchise back to the Emerald City.
Feb 06 Messages from Chris
I was at the game in NYC with my wife, kids and close friends and needless to say it was a lifetime experience for me just as it was for so many of you. As a diehard Seattle sports fan living in California for the better part of the last 25 years, I have had to sit quietly as friends have celebrated the numerous titles from the Lakers, Dodgers, Niners, and Giants. I have been in SF and witnessed the unbridled joy of three championship parades. And I have stood aside with envy as bars of loyal fans raised their right index fingers in the air and sang "We are the Champions."
After watching a game that can only be described as a blur of joyous domination, when I saw Paul Allen and Pete Carroll hoist the Lombardi Trophy in MetLife amidst a snowstorm of blue and green confetti, I hugged my kids and just started to tear up. Like all Seattle sports fans, I have waited so long for this moment, and the gravity of it was just overwhelming. I honestly kept thinking to myself, "Is this really happening?"
After celebrating with my kids on the bus ride back to Manhattan, I headed out to a 12th man pub in NYC called Carlow East to celebrate with friends. We sang and danced and hugged and cried. And for the first time in 35 years, I held my right index finger high in the air and belted out "We are the Champions" in a packed bar full of Seattleites and just thought to myself… "We did it. We finally did it."
So I would just like to commend Paul Allen, Pete Carroll, the Seahawks organization, and most of all the players for delivering the title that our city has so desperately craved and deserved for the last 35 years. Few have the opportunity in life to do something that means so much to so many. And I know I speak for all Sonics fans when I simply say thank you.
And for anyone who has any lingering doubts as to whether Seattle is a "sports city" capable of supporting an NBA and NHL franchise, there are about 700,000 of us that have a few pictures from yesterday we would be happy to share with you.
— Chris Hansen
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