QB Reinvigorates Seattle Arena Plans

The tides may be moving in favor of a new arena for an NBA and NHL team in Seattle after beloved quarterback Russell Wilson joined as an investor in the project.  

Photo: AP Photo

An investment group led by businessman Chris Hansen has been trying for years to get an arena built in the city to bring professional sports teams back to the Emerald City, but the city council voted him down 5-4 in May, denying him the necessary land. After losing on the last bid, Hansen has said he will privately finance the stadium for tax breaks, removing the elements of public investment that were included in the previous memorandum of understanding between him and the city.

Wilson is popular in Seattle and his support could move public opinion decisively toward the new building.

“We live in divisive times, and sports have a way of bringing people closer together. They allow us all – children and adults – to use our imaginations and dream,” Wilson wrote in The Player’s Tribune.

“I want kids in Seattle to grow up dreaming of playing basketball or hockey for their hometown team.”

Photo: AP Photo

The city will also be receiving proposals for renovations to KeyArena, the former home of the SuperSonics, in 2017.