Seattle, Washington: The Seattle City Council has agreed to a deal with investor Christopher Hansen to build a $490 million (Dh1.7 billion) arena that could host NBA and NHL teams as well as concerts and other events.
City officials confirmed the deal on Tuesday saying it could be the start of bringing an NBA team back to the city.
The former Seattle Supersonics moved to Oklahoma City after a deal to have a new arena built in Seattle failed to materialise in 2008.
The team was re-named the Thunder in a deal with the NBA and Seattle officials with the hope that one day an expansion team or another relocated NBA franchise could move to Seattle and pick up the Supersonics’ name and history.
“This agreement marks an exciting day in Seattle as we take a big step towards bringing back the Sonics,” said councilman Mike O’Brien, who said the deal included provisions for improved transportation infrastructure and other benefits for the city at large.
The agreement also includes financial protections for the city and King County. Hansen’s investor group, ArenaCo, must double the security reserve if its revenue fails to meet expectations. At the end of the 30-year arena use agreement, the city and county can require ArenaCo to purchase the land and facility for $200 million.