It has been eight long year since the Seattle SuperSonics left the Pacific Northwest.
Now, it seems Seattle is closer to getting the Sonics and the NBA back in Seattle.
Back in mid-October, the fine people at SB Nation’s Sonics Rising reported that expansion was “on the table” for the NBA with a new CBA widely reported to be in the works. After seeing the Kings rescued and new arenas being built in other cities, this has been Seattle’s best shot to reenter the league.
Within the week, news came out about Chris Hansen (the driving force behind bringing back the Sonics) buying even more land in SoDo.
So things were obviously looking positive for Seattle’s efforts to restore professional men’s basketball to the Emerald City.
There was also this nugget from a David Aldridge article about the subject of basketball in the Pacific Northwest’s largest city. The writer quoted “a very high ranking executive of one of the league’s 29 teams.” Said executive was quoted as saying “Seattle is a far better market than at least 10 NBA cities.”
So hey, we’ve got that going for us.
While there was obvious caution seeing as we’ve swung and miss with the league before, things were looking up.
Then this wonderful (at least for those who want to see the National Basketball Association back in the Pacific Northwest) news broke. King 5’s Chris Daniels reported that Hansen and company are offering to privately fund the new SoDo arena, as well as helping to fund the Lander Street overpass.
Additionally, Daniels’ reports also states that the offer is “conditioned on the city agreeing to vacate a one-block stretch of Occidental Avenue and the addition of several tax credits.”
The website behind Hansen’s efforts to build a new arena also announced the news.
What’s more, according to a tweet from Daniels, Seattle Council president Bruce Harrell calls the offer to privately fund the arena a “game changer.” You can see the entire tweet below.
NEW: @SeattleCouncil President @bruceharrell on #SeattleArena private offer: “game changer”, will look to reconvene committee to discuss it.
— Chris Daniels (@ChrisDaniels5) October 25, 2016
It is extremely positive news for hoop fans in Seattle. While it by no means ensures that a team will come, it is a massive step forward in the grand scheme of things if Hansen is able to privately fund the arena and the overpass.
For more on Seattle and the NBA, click here.