July 28, 2012 in Sports

Support of WNBA Storm among Seattle arena issues

Tim Booth Associated Press
 

SEATTLE – With the King County Council potentially taking a vote next Monday on a proposed new arena in Seattle, sticking points and possible concessions on traffic and the city’s lease agreement with the Seattle Storm are building with the Seattle City Council.

Seattle City Councilman Mike O’Brien told The Associated Press on Friday that city officials continue to negotiate with investor Chris Hansen over changes to a proposed deal between the city and the private ownership group. Among those issues are dealing with traffic concerns in the city’s industrial SoDo neighborhood, and the possibility of having Hansen’s ownership group take over the city’s current annual subsidy of the Seattle Storm.

The city’s lease agreement with the Storm currently calls for a $300,000 payment each year from the city to the WNBA franchise as part of a revenue-sharing agreement.

Asked about talks on the Storm subsidy, O’Brien said: “I’m not exactly sure how that’s going to fall out. That remains an issue.”

“Councilmembers have expressed to me that there are further concessions they are asking and if (Hansen) does not agree to those concessions we may lose this deal,” said Brian Robinson, head of Arena Solution, a group supporting efforts to bring a new arena to the Seattle region.

“My concern is the city will overreach in those concessions and they will lose this opportunity for the city of Seattle.”

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