Plans For $500M Arena Hinge on Luring NBA and NHL Teams

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor Seattle’s ambition to land major-league basketball and hockey franchises took a major step forward with the announcement of a $500 million plan to build an arena in the SoDo district. More than half the project’s financing–$290 million—would come from private funding secured by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen. Another $200 million [...]

Seattle’s ambition to land major-league basketball and hockey franchises took a major step forward with the announcement of a $500 million plan to build an arena in the SoDo district. More than half the project’s financing–$290 million—would come from private funding secured by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen. Another $200 million would be publicly funded.  

In order for the project to become a reality, however, Hansen and public officials must first attract National Basketball Association and National Hockey League teams, which would cost an estimated $200 million. That may pose a challenge, as the NBA has previously turned down expansion proposals from major cities like Las Vegas.

Another potential hurdle is a six-year-old voter initiative that requires professional sports teams to provide “fair value” for property and facilities provided by the city. Hansen told the Puget Sound Business Journal that an accelerated initial process would be required in order for a consistent proposal to be submitted at the April’s NBA owners meeting.