Tuesday November 15th, 2016

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson says he has partnered with an investment group that has been trying to build a sports arena in order to lure an NBA or NHL franchise to the city.

Wilson, billionaire hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and others have proposed to build an arena in the SoDo neighborhood of Seattle. The arena would be funded entirely by private money.

Hansen previously offered to fund the majority of the project but also asked for the city and county to put up $200 million. Hansen also unsuccessfully attempted to buy the Sacramento Kings.

"I'm blessed and excited to partner with Chris, Wally [Walker], Pete [Nordstrom] and Erik [Nordstrom] and the greatest fans in all of sports to bring the SODO arena to our beloved city," Wilson said. "There is no place like the Emerald City. The positive impact sports has on our kids and many generations to come and bringing different cultures and people together is what motivates and inspires me."

In May 2015, a final environmental impact statement (FEIS) found there were no significant obstacles to block a new proposed arena in the downtown arena.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled that Russell is joining our partnership and continued efforts to bring the NBA and NHL back to Seattle," Hansen said. "It is with this shared view that we welcome Russell, a young, smart and passionate entrepreneur, as our business partner. We know that his enthusiasm, positivity, and 'never give up' attitude will make a huge difference in our effort.”

The NBA's SuperSonics left Seattle for Oklahoma City before the 2008–09 season.

– Scooby Axson

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