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ESPN: What’s the future of the NBA in Seattle?

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst recently penned an article overviewing Seattle’s work to attract an NBA team. Several excerpts are presented below:

“…the complexities of the so-called New Arena at Seattle Center, the building’s working title, may make it challenging for Seattle to compete for a team if and when the time comes. The situation could even require Seattle to have a second new arena with the NBA team as the main tenant if the city wants to outbid other markets to attract a team, multiple ownership sources told ESPN.”

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“With others in line to get lion’s share of profits, an NBA team would be arriving last to the party. That could dim the NBA’s desire to move into the market when more lucrative options may be available elsewhere, league sources said. In essence, it’s possible Seattle might finally have an arena — but the wrong arena for the NBA.”

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“NBA teams in deep-pocket markets are looking to control their own buildings to capture new revenue. The Warriors’ privately-financed new arena set to open next year in San Francisco is a game-changer: It will open a fountain of new revenue that will make other big markets jealous. Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is in the process of trying to build his own arena in large part because he earns tens of millions less per season than the Lakers in the same building.”

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“This changing landscape is why investor Chris Hansen, who tried to buy and relocate the Kings to Seattle in 2013, is still planning to construct his own privately-financed arena in the SoDo district of Seattle near the baseball and football stadiums.”

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“His arena wouldn’t have the space and traffic limitations at KeyArena and could make an NBA team the primary tenant and therefore be more attractive…[and] would be a strong alternate option…”