By John Boyle
Did everybody already hear the good news last night? First, King 5 reported that a press conference was coming today to announce the framework of a new sports arena in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood.
Not long after, the Seattle Times published a story about Chris Hansen, the San Francisco hedge-fund manager who is from Seattle, and is the man behind this plan to bring the NBA—and likely the NHL as well—to Seattle.
In the Times story, Hansen is quoted as saying, “”We’re very close to announcing our offer to the city. That’s why I’m here.”
Now this is no doubt good news in this city’s quest to get the NBA back four years after the Sonics left for Oklahoma City. The fact that today’s press conference is taking place at City Hall is a good indicator that Hansen and the city are seeing eye-to-eye on this proposed arena deal, which is no small step in getting something done. We should not, however, get ahead of ourselves and declare definitively that we’re getting the NBA back. Hansen himself admitted in his interview with the Times that it’s still “very early in the process” and that “a lot could derail it.”
And of course, there is that silly little detail of needing to find a team. The city of Sacramento is still working on getting a new arena built for the Kings, and if that happens then Seattle will have to look elsewhere for a new team.
But even if plenty remains to be sorted out, this is potentially a very important day for the area’s sports landscape. More to come after today’s press conference.