City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

July 30, 2012
Seattle's NBA arena deal hits a snag

The Seattle City Council is balking at a proposal to build a new basketball arena south of the city's downtown.

A proposal to build a $490 million arena in Seattle has fueled hope that the NBA would return to the Northwest, following the departure in 2008 of the Sonics. And much of that hope was turned with a watchful eye toward Sacramento - and the belief among some in Seattle that the Kings are a prime target for relocation.

But now Seattle's own arena plans have hit a snag.

Most of the City Council wants the city to receive some of the tax revenue generated by the arena, along with other financial guarantees before agreeing to the deal, The Seattle Times is reporting. The city has been asked to contribute $120 million in bond financing, with taxes from the arena going to repay those bonds.

In a letter to Chris Hansen, who has proposed the arena, the council wrote the deal is not "an appropriate balance of public and private benefits, nor (does it) sufficiently protect the City from the financial risks inherent in the arena's financing," according to The Times.

This doesn't appear to be a death blow for Seattle's arena plans. But it's certainly worth noting that the political climate in the Emerald City seems less inviting to Seattle's arena deal than Sacramento was to its own plan.

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at rlillis@sacbee.com

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