The Seattle City Council voted Monday against vacating a street for the sake of building a new sports arena.
The 5–4 vote against the selling of a small part of a street in the SoDo district halts any ideas of an arena project and limits the chances the NBA or NHL will bring a team to Seattle. Vacating the street would have afforded investor Chris Hansen a five-year opportunity to find a team interested in relocating to the city.
Mayor Ed Murray released a statement Monday following the vote.
“I firmly believe that a new arena will be built that brings the NBA and NHL to our region,” Murray said. “The City’s past actions contributed to the Sonics leaving Seattle. Today’s Council vote makes it less likely that the NBA will return to the City of Seattle.”
Murray, however, remains optimistic for the city’s sports future.
“Despite today’s vote, I remain committed to exploring all options to bring the NBA and NHL, not just to our region, but to a new arena in the City of Seattle,” he added.
The SuperSonics left Seattle for Oklahoma City in 2008.