No arena vote until Sept.; supporters target Port with 'Twitter war'

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by CHRIS DANIELS / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ChrisDaniels5

KING5.com

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 13 at 7:02 PM

SEATTLE -– Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess said late Monday he did not believe a vote would take place this week on the Seattle arena proposal.

Burgess, writing on his blog, said discussions are continuing in a “fruitful manner," and that his committee would consider arena legislation again in September.

Investor Chris Hansen wants to build a $490 million sports complex south of Safeco Field using up to $200 million in public financing.  The Memorandum of Understanding -- signed by Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and Hansen -- was passed, with amendments, by the King County Council last month.

The Seattle City Council’s vote is considered the final seal of approval on the deal.

Arena backers spent Monday trying to sway opinion, launching a self-described “Twitter War” against the Port of Seattle, one of the proposal’s biggest opponents.  The organized campaign leveled charges of "hypocrisy" and "ethical lapses" at the Port.

The Port responded with a tweet reading a “lot of info out there that’s dated/wrong."

Hansen stayed out of the fray on Monday. He released a statement saying, "Our recent conversations with the City Council have been very productive and I am committed to continuing the discussion. I hope we’ll soon reach an agreement that will put us on track to bring NBA basketball back to Seattle."

The Port of Seattle and other businesses that rely on transportation into and out of SODO say a new arena would create a traffic mess that could hurt established employers. Hansen and his supporters counter that arena events would mainly be held in the evenings and that arena backers are open to working with city and county government and other SODO interests to improve the infrastructure on an equitable basis.

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