SEATTLE – Chances that the Sacramento Kings could be lured as an NBA tenant to play in a proposed new Sodo arena in Seattle appeared to lessen greatly Monday after team owners and Sacramento city officials announced they had reached the “framework of a deal” to stay put.
The Kings had been rumored as the most viable potential candidate to relocate to Seattle after plans were unveiled earlier this month to build a new arena in the Sodo District. The building of the arena, however, is contingent on securing NBA and NHL teams to come to Seattle.
Owners of the Kings – the Maloof family – Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and NBA officials led by Commissioner David Stern announced Monday morning they had reached a tentative deal on a plan to build a new arena.
Christopher Hansen, a Seattle native and now a Bay Area hedge fund manager, has proposed to contribute up to $290 million to build an arena in the Seattle Sodo District, assuming NBA and NHL teams can be secured first.
A spokesman for Hansen’s group, Peter McCollum, told the Seattle Times on Monday that the news about the Kings will not alter Hansen’s plans.
“The Sacramento announcement doesn’t change Chris’ proposal or his commitment to build an arena in Seattle,” McCollum said via email. “He has already purchased the land and put a serious offer in front of the City (of Seattle) and (King) County. It’s up to the City and County now to evaluate that proposal and decide how they want to proceed.
“Chris’ proposal does not involve any public financing until a team is secured, but getting an agreement with the City and County is a critical first step – once that is in place, Chris will initiate a serious conversation with the NBA and show that he, along with the City of Seattle and King County, are committed to building a world-class arena.”
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn’s spokesman said the city’s focus remains on the arena proposal from Hansen, whose pledge provides the foundation of a project estimated at $490 million. The public contribution from the city and county would be capped at $200 million and come from taxes generated directly from the arena.