In case you were wondering, a step forward for the city’s KeyArena plans haven’t deterred Chris Hansen and company from their fight for an arena in SODO.
As the city announced Oak View Group (OVG) as their official selection to renovate KeyArena, the group’s CEO Tim Leiweke invited Hansen to become a part-owner of whatever NBA team Seattle courts in the future—and told him to give SODO a rest.
“Chris, if you want an NBA team, this is the way it’s gonna happen,” he said.
At an event later on Wednesday, Hansen told Q13 that “there’s nothing wrong with a little competition”—and that his proposal is still the best.
"We have the best site and the best location,” said Hansen, joined by Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. “I would just hope the council and community would chime in on that fact at the right time."
Hansen noted that his group is still waiting for a street vacation. Their last request failed to pass City Council last year.
A new proposal by Hansen’s group, which includes Wilson, Wally Walker, Erik Nordstrom, and Pete Nordstrom, was approved by the Seattle Design Commission last month. The commission recommended the street vacation be approved—but it still has to get through the council.
The SoDo group has maintained that the KeyArena plans would be “music-first”—so less likely to attract NBA and NHL teams—and require “significant public subsidies.” On Wednesday, Leiweke, devoting much of his speech time to attracting sports teams, said both claims are untrue.