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Come Back, Sonics -- Seattle Got its Arena Deal!

After months of back and forth, lead ons and coy teasing, the Seattle City Council and San Fran hedge fund backer Chris Hansen have finally struck a tentative deal. The Seattle Times reports that a $490 million stadium to house a NBA basketball team and NHL hockey will be built in SODO, just south of the Safeco Field parking garage.

Initially, one of the main roadblocks to the stadium construction was the inevitable traffic congestion and projected loss of maritime industries and Port of Seattle jobs. To address said concern, the deal was slightly revised to accommodate both. Of the $200 million that the public would contribute through taxes (and rent paid by resident teams), $40 million of that is to be redirected to -- as the Times states -- "make road improvements to protect Port of Seattle container operations, railway lines and truck activity, much of which now occurs within blocks of the proposed arena site."

But now, it's not just the arena that's going to get a facelift. Even further revisions to the deal allocate $7 million to improve the Key Arena and "plan for its future."

Much of the original plan has stayed intact with Hansen picking up more than halff the bill. Having already pitched in $51 million to secure necessary properties near Safeco Field, the resurrector of stadiums will contribute a total of $290 million of "private money" to see this arena built.

While the town still is team-less, the dream is real: Basketball is coming back to Seattle.

· City Council reaches revised arena deal [Seattle Times]