Burgess on Seattle Arena: 'We can't change the MOU'

Burgess on Seattle Arena: 'We can't change the MOU'

Credit: KING / SonicsArena.com

Burgess on Seattle Arena: 'We can't change the MOU'

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by CHRIS DANIELS / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ChrisDaniels5

KING5.com

Posted on March 19, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 19 at 12:01 PM

SEATTLE – Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess reiterated Wednesday what he’s said for the past two years regarding the proposed Memorandum of Understanding for the Seattle Arena.

“We can’t change the MOU for the NHL first scenario,” said Burgess, “The tax collections aren’t the same. It would be about 50-percent according to our projections.”

Burgess had said during the arena process, back in 2012, that the city would have to assume more risk if the arena was built just for the NHL. A 2012 analysis then showed revenues would be stronger and help pay of the public financing if NBA and NHL franchises were both tenants in the building.

Burgess ultimately championed the Seattle Arena proposal and voted to approve it after certain amendments were made.  He says there has been no formal request to make a change either.

The MOU has been called into question in the past several months as the NHL has signaled its interest in the Seattle market. League leaders, including Commissioner Gary Bettman, and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, have told KING 5 of their long term interest in Seattle and floated that expansion, at some point, is a possibility.

However, the league is closely watching the status of the project and the environmental review which is expected to be completed.

As KING 5 first reported earlier this week, the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development says it may not be done until the “end of the summer.” This was contrary to statements made by King County Councilman Reagan Dunn, who told 950 KJR in a recent interview that the EIS should be done “sometime next month.”

But on Tuesday, in a statement to KING 5, Dunn corrected himself.

“That was what he knew when he spoke on the topic and only later was it learned that the final EIS is slated to be released in the summer,” said Dunn’s spokesman Jason King.  “After the interview, we were told the reason for the final EIS delay is that DPD has requested additional info on traffic analysis, location of parking during event days, and examples of how impacts could be mitigated along South Holgate Street.”

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