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October 15, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Seattle and King County councils approve Sodo arena deal

GREG GILBERT / THE SEATTLE TIMES
King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, left, and City Councilmember Tim Burgess hold a press conference after the City Council vote on Monday, which was 7-2 in favor of the arena.

The Seattle City Council and Metropolitan King County Council this afternoon approved an agreement to use up to $200 million in public funds to help build a basketball and hockey arena in Sodo that would return the Sonics to town.

The agreement with investor and Seattle native Chris Hansen means Hansen can now begin shopping for a National Basketball Association team, and begin an environmental review of the site that will determine what mitigation is needed for traffic and other concerns.

The county council unanimously approved the revised Memorandum of Understanding, and the city council shortly after approved it 7-2.

ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES
Kenneth Knutsen, left, Dawn Welch and Jason Billingsley react just before the King County Council unanimously voted to approve the agreement for the new sports arena in Seattle on Monday.

City Council member Tim Burgess said the councils had strengthened the agreement sent to them by Mayor Mike McGinn and County Executive Dow Constantine by requiring a full state environmental review that includes an analysis of alternate sites, creating a transortation fund to protect freight mobility in Sodo and an economic impact study.

“The steps we’re taking will ensure transportation corridors remains open and accessible,” Burgess said.

County Councilman Joe McDermott said the signing of the MOU sets off a review process that will require further public comment and council approval.

“The MOU makes it abundantly clear there will be no final decision until after an environmental review,” McDermott said.

 

Comments | More in Government, Sports | Topics: Chris Hansen, Metropolitan King County Council, Seattle City Council

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