Still no word on whether or not Chris Hansen's deal to purchase the Sacramento Kings and move them to Seattle has gone through, but in the meantime all of the other pieces are falling into place. Tuesday, Mayor McGinn announced that the city and Hansen had finalized a deal to ensure that the Sonics will play in KeyArena until the SoDo arena is ready.
"This agreement increases revenue to the City from KeyArena, realizes a great private investment in a Seattle landmark and will add to the vibrancy of the Seattle Center by helping bring the Sonics home," said Mayor Mike McGinn. "I thank my staff and Council staff for their work to help ensure a strong and united City voice in these negotiations. And I thank Chris Hansen and his team for their commitment to crafting a fair deal that contains public benefits and protects existing jobs." As part of the deal, Hansen will have to do the following:
· Guarantee at least $2 million in use fees annually to the city. If Hansen is able to bring an NHL franchise to Seattle during this time, the fee will be increased $750K.
· Make a minimum of $3 million in capital investments to KeyArena, including seating upgrades, upgrades to security systems & audio/visual equipment, renovation of locker facilities, kitchen equipment and suite upgrades.
· Ensure that all current KeyArena employees remain so, reimburse the city for any costs involved and make sure all collective bargaining and other obligations are fulfilled.
The improvements in the deal make one wonder what happens to a newly-refurbished KeyArena once the Sonics and TBD Hockey Franchise leave for SoDo. Perhaps that's a bridge to cross when (if?) we get there.
· Mayor announces agreement with ArenaCo for KeyArena investments, operations [City of Seattle]
· Stern says no decision on Sacramento this week [KING5]