arena deal

Seattle-area politicians will make their case to NBA leaders this week that the league should allow the Sacramento Kings to be transferred here.

The NBA will have to decide between rival offers from Seattle and Sacramento. At this Wednesday’s NBA meeting in New York, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine will explain how the city and county have committed to supporting the team’s transfer and building a new arena.

Constantine says he understands why Sacramento is trying so hard to keep the team, but that Seattle has more to offer.

The Associated Press

People with knowledge of the situation say investor Chris Hansen has contacted the Maloof family about buying the Sacramento Kings.

Yahoo Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the teams owners are finalizing a deal to sell the Sacramento Kings to the Seattle group with plans to relocate franchise. 

Yahoo Sports reported the Kings could sell for more than $500 million. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says that price is surprising – it’s $100 million higher than the selling price for any other professional basketball team.

King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn have signed legislation on the funding plan for construction of an arena that could be used to lure the NBA back to Seattle.

The executives signed the deal on Tuesday after a negotiated memorandum of understanding between the city, county and investor Chris Hansen was approved by the city and county councils a day earlier.

The Seattle City Council has approved a deal to build a new arena designed to lure the NBA back to town.

Keith Seinfeld / KPLU

How would taxpayers be protected if a new basketball arena gets built in Seattle? The details are in an agreement between the city, King County and the man who wants to bring an NBA team to town.

After three months of meetings and negotiations, there’s now a formal Memorandum of Understanding between investor Chris Hansen and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn along with County Executive Dow Constantine. In the fine print, it describes how Hansen will purchase the land south of Safeco Field, build a new basketball arena on it, and then sell it to the city.

The city of Seattle, King County and investor Chris Hansen have reached an agreement in the effort to build an arena that could bring professional basketball back to the Puget Sound.

The memorandum of understanding announced Wednesday now goes before the City Council and King County Council for approval.

The agreement adds a new wrinkle to an original proposal in that an NHL team is no longer needed to start construction. Only an NBA team, with a non-relocation agreement signed, is needed to begin construction on the proposed 18,500-seat facility.

For 45 minutes at City Hall Wednesday night, would-be arena mogul Chris Hansen calmly answered questions from politicians, bureaucrats and agency heads who reflected Seattle’s pain from repeatedly getting kicked in the bicuspids by pro sports owners, starting with the loss of the Seattle Pilots in 1970.

In the sometimes lame give-and-take, he made a point lightly understood but significant for grasping why his idea is different than those of his sporting predecessors more practiced in the art of shoe-leather dentistry.

“Our equity in this project is larger than the city (and county combined),” he said. “Are we going to risk a $600 million investment over a $2 million annual shortfall?”

Monica Spain / KPLU

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel likes what he's hearing about a proposed arena deal in Seattle.

The goal is to return the NBA to Seattle and bring the city a professional hockey team with a new arena to be built in the city's SoDo district. The project would be self-funded and not rely on new taxes.