More than six years ago, we began our effort to bring the Sonics back to Seattle. That remains our goal today.
While we respect the City Council’s decision to approve the Oak View Group MOU we continue to believe our plan to build a 100% privately funded arena in SoDo represents the best chance to bring the NBA back to Seattle.
Our team of local investors first came together because there was no effort underway to bring the NBA back to Seattle. We purchased land in Seattle’s Stadium District, paid for a lengthy environmental review, traffic and parking studies and economic impact studies. We worked with the Seattle Arena Review Panel, King County Expert Review Panel, the City and County Councils through numerous hearings, the Seattle Downtown Design Review process and Seattle Design Review Commission. In short, we did everything asked of us by Seattle officials. We believe this lengthy review, along with the input we heard from the broader community, resulted in a better proposal for everyone.
Today we remain steadfast in our goal to have the NBA once again playing in Seattle, so we will keep the land we own in Seattle’s Stadium District until that commitment has been made.
Having two viable arena options puts Seattle in the best position to attract an NBA team. If some future NBA ownership group is unable to reach a competitive deal at Seattle Center, having an alternative is vital for the City and Sonics fans.
We ask the City Council to consider our revised application for a conditional vacation of a one-block section of Occidental Avenue South. We will not break ground on an arena unless a team is secured, so granting the conditional vacation poses no risk to the City and it doesn’t impede Oak View Group’s arena plans.
And if Seattle Center does indeed end up once again being the home for the Sonics, we’ll be right there with you to cheer them on.
— Chris Hansen, Wally Walker, Erik Nordstrom, Pete Nordstrom, Russell Wilson