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King County judge dismisses Seattle arena lawsuit

I-91 requires that the city must make money on any arena deal that it enters into. An architecture firm has already proposed several options for the arena design in the SoDo neighborhood. (File Photo)

The final legal hurdle standing in front of the proposed SoDo arena is gone following a hearing Friday in a King County courtroom.

The suit was filed by Citizens for More Important Things and claims the arena deal does not satisfy the requirements of Initiative-91, which Seattle voters passed in 2006.

I-91 requires that the city must make money on any arena deal that it enters into.

"We agree with Judge Middaugh's ruling that the 1-91 lawsuit brought against the City and the County is not ripe," the Seattle mayor's office said in a news release on Friday. "The City and County are in the middle of following the decision-making path laid out by the MOU, and not until the end of that path will the Councils decide whether to go forward with public financing for the proposal. If the Councils do choose to go forward to issue bonds, we are confident that the proposed financial structure will result in a final deal for the arena that provides a fair market return that is more than sufficient to meet the intent of 1-91."

King County Executive Dow Constantine also commented on Judge Middaugh's decision, "This ruling is yet another in a long line of affirmations that the city and county are doing things right in the effort to bring the Sonics home. We will continue to work in our region's best interest to make this happen."

The arena plan survived its first lawsuit, brought by union port workers who claimed the agreement violated state environmental law.

Meanwhile, a former Facebook executive has joined the investment team in Sacramento to buy the Kings. The Sacramento Bee reports a source says Chris Kelly, who also ran for Attorney General in 2010, has joined the group.

The Maloof family, which owns a majority of the team, has given Sacramento until 5 p.m. Friday to submit its bid for the Kings or it won't even consider it.

Read more:
Is this Seattle's last shot at an NBA team?

About the Author

Chris Sullivan is a traffic reporter for KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He cares deeply about the amount of time you spend sitting in Seattle traffic.


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