Study counters Seattle Port's claims against new NBA arena

May 23, 2012

A study has found that Seattle's SoDo neighborhood can handle the traffic that may come from building a third sports arena in the area.

The study was released Wednesday by the City of Seattle and paid for by Chris Hansen, the developer who wants to build an 18,000-seat facility that could house an NBA and an NHL franchise near where the Mariners and Seahawks play.

The Port of Seattle and the Mariners both say a new stadium could hurt businesses in the area.

However, Hansen's study made the following claims:

  • Arena event times generally do not coincide with the regular Port of Seattle container terminal operations
  • Day-time arena events would be rare
  • Most Port of Seattle operations close at 4:30 pm – this could be extended if growth in container volume occurs
  • Arena events start at 7‑7:30 pm
  • Majority of event traffic would be on 1st Avenue and roadways to the east
  • Majority of Port of Seattle operations are west of 1st Avenue S – Port of Seattle operations are effectively separated from event traffic
  • Planned and funded infrastructure improvements would improve Port of Seattle operations
  • Atlantic Street overpass provides a new direct connection between the container terminals and rail yards

Last week, the city, King County and Hansen announced a memorandum of understanding laying out the financial responsibilities for the proposed venue. The agreement now goes before the Seattle City Council and King County Council for review.