An independent analysis on the impact on jobs, one of the most hotly debated issues surrounding Chris Hansen's basketball/hockey arena proposal, is being called for by King County Council member Bob Ferguson.
After disclosing the idea informally Tuesday night at a town hall meeting, Ferguson said in a press release Wednesday that he wants to amend the memorandum of understanding among county, city and Chris Hansen to include the study, but to be done after the MOU gets approved -- if it does.
“The development of an NBA and NHL arena has the potential to impact important segments of our economy, including construction, tourism and maritime industries,” said Ferguson. “We must take an independent look to evaluate the impact -- positive and negative -- on the region’s economy.
"While I am still considering my position on the proposed arena, if the MOU is approved, this type of economic analysis is essential to truly understand the economic costs and benefits of the project before the final commitment of public funds is made."
The study is not expected to delay votes by the councils next month on the $490 million project, which includes $290 million from private investors and $200 million from city and council bonds repaid by rents and tax revenues generated by the arena. The analysis will also look at the project's impact on the regional economy as well as on women- and minority-owned business.
“Statements have been made on both sides of this issue about how the proposed arena will affect jobs and economic growth in our region,” said Ferguson. “We need an independent analysis to sort out the competing claims and give the public full information before public funds are committed.”