'Be patient:' Russell Wilson and investor Chris Hansen say SODO arena still an option
SEATTLE – Just hours after Seattle Mayor Ed Murray publicly endorsed the renovation of KeyArena to potentially host an NBA or NHL team, Seattle investor Chris Hansen remained adamant that his SODO arena proposal remains a viable option.
“I think our job here is to just sit back, be patient, see how things transpire over the next few months, encourage the City Council to approve our plan,” Hansen said at a panel discussion Wednesday night at the Palace Ballroom in Seattle.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a little competition," he added.
Since 2011, Hansen has sought to bring an NBA team back to Seattle.
Hansen’s current proposal is privately funded and only requires the city approval of a street closure to move forward.
Hansen’s partners include Eric and Pete Nordstrom, former Seattle SuperSonic Wally Walker, and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
“I definitely think we’re still alive, and we like close games,” said Wilson, who also attended the panel discussion.
Hansen’s chief concern with the KeyArena proposal is the potential financial burden to the City from unforeseen expenses and traffic woes.
“If I’m going to a basketball game, I would like to be able to get there on time, find a place to park, and get out of there, and get home at a reasonable time," said Hansen.
Hansen said he’s not opposed to having two arenas in Seattle, should both approvals receive backing from the Seattle City Council.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says he expects the Council to vote on the Oak View Group proposal by the end of the year.