Billionaire offers to fund construction of arena to bring NBA back to Seattle
Billionaire Chris Hansen has proposed to build an arena in Seattle in hopes of drawing an NBA team back to the city. The arena would be funded entirely by private money.
Hansen had previously offered to fund the majority of the construction project but asked for the city and county to put up $200 million. The arena would only be built if Seattle is first awarded an NBA expansion franchise.
The proposal calls for the building to be erected adjacent to the existent football and baseball stadiums in the city’s SoDo neighborhood.
Hansen, a hedge fund manager who was raised in Seattle, previously tried to buy the Sacramento Kings and move them to Seattle.
Seattle has been without an NBA team since the Sonics left for Oklahoma City in 2008, and the city’s aging KeyArena has been an obstacle to bringing the league back to town.
There have been several proposals to build arenas in and around Seattle with the goal of attracting NBA and NHL teams, but none have been successful.