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Proposed Seattle sports arena delayed once again

SEATTLE -- The green and gold faithful have had to wait for salvation in the return of the Seattle Sonics. The wait is about to get longer.


Again.


The Seattle Department of Planning and Development has been the gatekeeper for investor Chris Hansen's SODO arena project. The department has been waiting for information from Hansen's camp and design firm for over year to get revisions for the Environmental Impact Statement.


DPD spokesperson Bryan Stevens told KOMO 4 late Monday afternoon that the final EIS review is not expected until at least February of 2015.


The initial draft EIS was first posted in mid-September of 2013. Since then there have been minor design guideance meetings, but little action according to DPD.


Projections originally slated the final EIS to be completed in spring of 2014, which was then delayed until late summer, then to November and now to early 2015.


The delay is yet another piece of difficult news for NBA or NHL-thirsty fans. Those leagues have publicily said that expansion efforts are not in immediate plans and that if Seattle was targeted, the town would need an arena in place.


Current plans within the city known as the Memoradum of Understanding call for a team to be secured before any shovel could be placed in the ground. The delay continues to push construction back to say nothing of expansion or relocation of a franchise.


Mayor Ed Murray told KOMO in August that the city council has no interest in revising the MOU in order to allow an arena to be built before a team is brought to Seattle. The MOU also calls for an "NBA-first provision" that would need to be reworked if an NHL franchise is an option. Murray indicated no one wants to revisit the topic.


Arenas are either under construction or already in place in Quebec City, Las Vegas, and Kansas City.


A spokesperson for Hansen was unable to comment Monday afternoon.

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