Former councilman Steinbrueck enters Seattle mayor's race

SEATTLE -- The proposed SoDo sports arena just became a bigger part of the Seattle mayoral race.

Local architect, former Seattle City Councilman and ardent arena opponent Peter Steinbrueck announced his plans to run for mayor on Wednesday.

Joining an already crowded race, Steinbrueck said he'll concentrate his efforts on schools, transportation and sustainable growth. Something he hopes not to see in the future is an NBA and hockey arena in the SoDo area.

"A million more cars would be brought to that area annually? Why would we do that when there are other choices?" he said.

Steinbrueck supports the NBA's return to Seattle, but said the way the city went about choosing the SoDo site was anything but transparent.

"There was no process for the first year when the decision was made to locate a sports facility in the heart of the manufacturing district. That still rubs on me," he said.

On Wednesday, Mayor Mike McGinn said he welcomes the chance to square off against another competitor, should he decide to run. McGinn hasn't officially announced plans to run for reelection, and he said he won't make his official decision until the new year.

"I'm looking forward to having a robust debate about Seattle's future. We'll have a full year to do it. Everyone's coming in," McGinn said.

The elections won't take place for almost a year, but the primary rolls around in just 8 months.