Hansen releases interior designs for new arena

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by CHRIS DANIELS / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ChrisDaniels5

KING5.com

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 13 at 10:12 PM

SEATTLE – It was a closely guarded secret, until now.

Chris Hansen’s Investment team released its plans for the interior bowl of the proposed $490 million arena, and claims they are different than any other current sports complex.

Hansen’s team envisions building “pocket suites” in the lower bowl, just 10 rows from the floor and ice.  His architects have also designed a steeper bowl, than other arenas like the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Staples Center in Los Angeles, or the Amway Center in Orlando.  The bowl will have what Hansen’s team are calling the “Sonic Rings,” three stacked balconies in the upper deck, which Hansen claims will maximize the intensity of the game experience.

He also claims the icon, or main feature, on the outside is called the “Supersonic Jet Turbine.”

Hansen’s designs are still going through a city review, and the project itself is currently under environmental review.

The timing of the release is just a day before Hansen’s team has asked people to sign up for a ticket priority list.  The prospective Sonics owner likely intends to use that list as a selling point to NBA owners, in his quest to approve the sale of the Sacramento Kings franchise.  Hansen’s investment group, which also includes Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, has a signed agreement to buy the Kings.

The franchise has already filed for relocation to Seattle, and Key Arena.  NBA Owners are scheduled to vote on the deal next month.

The proposed arena needs environmental approval and the acquisition of a franchise before ground can be broken.

Sacramento city leaders say they still intend to offer a counter bid for the franchise, which would include an arena plan of their own.  The City’s Manager signaled on Tuesday that he hopes to have a term sheet on that plan ready for public review by Thursday, March 21.

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