Officials in Seattle have agreed to a revised arena deal with investor Chris Hansen. Under the new deal Hansen has agreed to kick in more money for transportation improvements while personally guaranteeing the city’s debt.
The $490 million arena will host both NHL and NBA teams. Seattle lost the SuperSonics in 2008 when the team jumped over to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder. The SuperSonics had played in Seattle for 41 years.
Formal votes are still required to complete the deal which includes support from Hansen, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Peter and Erik Nordstrom.
With a plan in place the investors now have the green light to shop for an NBA team.
The $490 million Seattle arena plan includes $200 million in public financing which will be paid back in the form of arena-related taxes and rent.
The revised plan calls for Chris Hansen to double his reserves on hand to $30 million. The reserves are used to pay back the city should the arena fail to meet expectations.
Since Hansen would be responsible for paying back loans should the reserve run dry he has agreed to a personal audit to ensure his wealth is valued at least $300 million.
After the 30-year agreement expires Seattle could force Hansen to buy back the arena for $200 million. Should the NBA team chosen for the city move on Hansen could also be responsible for Seattle arena’s tear down costs.
Do you think the city of Seattle can once again host a successful NBA team that fans want to buy tickets to watch?