We don't know how many times we can utter "it's official" without it seeming disingenuous, but with each passing city council meeting, the statement in reference to the prospective construction of a hockey/basketball arena gains more and more validity. So now, may we iterate "it's official" once again, as the city council voted 6-2 in favor or Chris Hansen's new and improved arena deal. That means that the majority of the city council is on board with the revised plan that will use $145 million in public funds to help fund the stadium and dedicate $40 million to improving SODO transportation.
It came as no surprise that the two dissenting votes came from council members Nick Licata and Richard Conlin, two who have been very vocal in their opposition to constructing a new arena for either sport. Publicola quotes Conlin as saying
The question before the council is not whether we think having an NBA team is a good thing, but whether it is necessary or appropriate to invest public money in a new arena. We simply do not have the financial information that would tell us whether a city's investment is necessary. We will have to figure out the future of KeyArena, which, in 2011, made $310,000 [in profits] and now we face a city-funded competitor for major shows and possibly lose its primary sports tenant [the Seattle Storm]." While others are reassured of Hansen's personal fiscal commitment to the project, others in staunch opposition have stuck to their guns and surely will continue to strongly suggest if not outright oppose the construction. But for now, Seattle can continue to be assured that "it's official" -- Seattle wants a new arena.
· Council Approve Sonics Arena; Licata and Conlin Vote No, Port Raises Concern [Publicola]
· Come Back Sonics, -- Seattle Got Its Arena Deal [Curbed Seattle]