Chris Hansen Rumors
Plans for a proposed multipurpose arena in Seattle’s stadium district can move forward after a final environmental impact statement released Thursday found no major issues to block the project. The FEIS on investor Chris Hansen’s plans for an arena near Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field was released by the city after nearly two years of work. “We’re one step closer to bringing NHL hockey and NBA basketball to Seattle,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said in a statement.
The release of the documents comes about a week before Seattle is expected to release its final environmental impact statement on a proposed arena just south of downtown. A memorandum of understanding is in place with investor Chris Hansen, the city and King County for arena funding but only if Hansen is able to secure an NBA franchise. The MOU has a five-year window that expires in late 2017. Hansen was nearly able to purchase the Sacramento Kings in 2013 and move them to Seattle before a local buyer was found and a new arena approved for the team.
Although there have been rumors that Seattle businessman Chris Hansen — who nearly bought the Sacramento Kings in 2013 with the intention of moving them to Seattle — is also going to make a bid for the Hawks, the high likelihood is that the franchise will be sold to a group which will keep the team in Atlanta. “Basketball is my first priority, but if we buy the team it’s not going anywhere,” Webber said. “And while we’re creating the basketball identity, I go into the community and I re-tie the bridges with the community. It could be something as simple as when I was growing up in Detroit, Isiah Thomas did a commercial that said ‘look before you dig with the Detroit Electric Company, so you don’t shock yourself.’ ”
Hansen told The Associated Press on Monday that he is confident he’ll be able to find investors to take Ballmer’s place in his group. He said it will likely take more than one person to replace Ballmer’s investment, and he will not put a limit on the number of investors at this time. Seattle’s hopes seemed to take a blow last week when Ballmer agreed to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion. Hansen said that six or nine months from now, he’ll still be trying to get his proposed arena built and acquire a franchise for Seattle.
Investor Chris Hansen says he remains committed to getting the NBA back to Seattle even though he just lost one of his biggest partners in the process. Hansen released a statement Friday congratulating former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on his agreement to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion. Hansen says Ballmer’s commitment will make him a ”great owner and strong asset for the league.”