Seattle sports arena proposal: Reactions from local officials, business leaders



Posted on February 16, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 23 at 3:57 PM

Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell:

"Today's announcement to bring back an NBA team and an NHL team is an incredible economic opportunity for jobs and small businesses, but its greatest impact will be on our community and youth.  I have been a youth mentor for decades and for many, sports is a universal language for our youth and instills discipline and confidence in our children.  At rec centers and playgrounds all across Seattle, I have watched kids imitating Gary Payton's signature baseline spin move or Fred Brown's perfect jump shot.  I have witnessed the discipline and confidence transfer into success in the classroom."

"Seattle is a world-class city and many in our state enjoy our football, baseball, and soccer teams.  I want us to work together on bringing back a basketball team and a new hockey team.  In the last two weeks, Jeremy Lin has transcended American sports as the first American-born Chinese or Taiwanese player.  Jeremy has taught us all not to give up on our dreams.  He is a testament of hard work and seizing the opportunity.  I applaud Mr. Hansen, the Mayor and County Executive Constantine for keeping the hopes and dreams of sports enthusiasts alive and I am excited about bringing basketball back to our city."

Metropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn:

“As stewards of public money, we must closely examine any plan that seeks King County’s role in financing such a project. I look forward to learning more about the proposal.

“As a die-hard Sonics fan, I long for the days of ‘The Glove,’ Gary Payton, and Seattle’s ‘Reign Man,’ Shawn Kemp. I sincerely hope Sonics basketball is in Seattle’s future.”

Metropolitan King County Councilmember Joe McDermott:

“I will always remember the excitement and celebration that swept the city when the Sonics won the World Championship in 1979.

“Thousands of King County residents would be excited to have new professional sports, including an NBA team, in the County.

“I’m thrilled by the potential to bring more jobs, business, and economic development to our region.

“I know there will be many questions moving forward, particularly about the County's role in any financing. I look forward to examining the proposal in detail.”

Joint Statement by state Sens. David Frockt, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Rep. Eric Pettigrew:

“This is a day that City of Seattle and Washington sports fans have been dreaming of for several years.

“We are excited that Chris Hansen, his colleagues, the City of Seattle and King County have brought this proposal forward.  We are in the early stages of this process and more details are to follow, but what we have heard to date is that there are not expected to be any funding requests made to the state Legislature.  We believe that is a smart approach given the budget realities for our schools, colleges and universities and, essential services with which we are grappling.  However, we are supportive of the work that has been done to this point and look forward to the continuing public process, which we hope will end in success.

“The announcement of a proposal to build a multi-use arena south of Safeco Field will mean far more than the chance to return a team that for 41 years was a source of pride and passion for our city and our region.  It will mean more than the chance to introduce the Northwest to the fans of the National Hockey League.  It will mean the introduction of an economic driver and an infusion of potential business and revenue that may help the city, county and state continue the climb back from the effects of the recession.”

Seattle Seahawks Owner Paul Allen:

It was a sad day when the Sonics left Seattle, a move I opposed. It’s exciting to think about the NBA coming back to Seattle and renewing the rivalry with the Portland Trail Blazers. However, it is too early for me to comment any further without a specific plan or proposal to review.