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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

September 13, 2012 at 4:32 PM

City Council committee approves Sodo arena plan

A Seattle City Council committee today approved a revised agreement to build a new $490 million basketball and hockey arena in Sodo.

The measure is expected to go to the full council for final approval Sept. 24. After that, investor Chris Hansen can begin shopping for a team. Ultimate approval will be contingent on results of an environmental impact study, expected to take about a year.

Although it was a three-member-committee hearing, eight council members attended in what was viewed as a test of the arena’s support. The agreement addresses one of the key objections to the Sodo location by creating a $40 million transportation fund to address freight mobility, as well as $7 million for improvements to KeyArena.

A majority of the council members said the revised proposal met their earlier concerns, including the threat to Port of Seattle business and maritime industries in Sodo because of the potential traffic generated by a year-around sports and entertainment venue.

Maritime leaders renewed their objections to the location during the council hearing, saying the city has created “inevitable momentum” for the Sodo site and that the promised environmental review is “window dressing.”

Jubilant fans, who have been celebrating since the renegotiated deal with Hansen was announced Tuesday, had nearly all adjourned to F.X. McRory’s in Pioneer Square, where Hansen promised a free round of beer for all from 5 to 7 p.m.

Comments | Topics: arena, Chris Hansen, Sodo

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