Updated May 20, 2013 - 4:29 pm
Chris Hansen says the effort to bring NBA back to Seattle is not over
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"When we began our efforts in 2011, we went into it knowing that above all else it would take patience," Hansen wrote in a statement Monday on his website.
Hansen reached an agreement with the city of Seattle and King County last fall to build a new arena in the SoDo neighborhood if Hansen landed an NBA team. The agreement is good for five years.
"We will continue to press forward with our arena plans with the same commitment and effort we have over the last two years, and look forward to working with the City and County to see the project through the hurdles that remain."
Hansen also said he would continue to work with the NBA "regarding opportunities that may arise to return an NBA franchise to our City."
While NBA officials ruled out expansion for the near future following last week's Board of Governors meeting, Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver left open the possibility after the league negotiates new television contracts in the next several years, saying the NBA would like to return to Seattle at some point.
Hansen began his statement by congratulating Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and the city's fans for "the tremendous effort they put together to keep their team." He said the effort was never "about Seattle fans versus Sacramento fans, and it goes unsaid that there is a mutual respect given the circumstances we have both been through."
The hedge fund manager concluded his statement by thanking all of the officials and their staffs for their work in putting together the arena deal, and most importantly, the fans and community groups that backed the effort.
"You have shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that Seattle has great fans and deserves to have an NBA team back. Keep the Green and Gold alive ... and just know that we remain as dedicated as ever to seeing Sonics Basketball return to the Emerald City," he said.
Chris Hansen's full statement:
Where We Go From Here
I'd like to start out by congratulating Mayor Johnson and the fans in Sacramento for the tremendous effort they put together to keep their team. Given what our community went through in 2008, if there is any silver lining in this for Seattle it is seeing Sacramento's dedicated fan base successfully rally to keep the Kings. This was never about Seattle fans versus Sacramento fans, and it goes unsaid that there is a mutual respect given the circumstances we have both been through. This process was instead about our group and our city putting our best foot forward in an honest and transparent way to return basketball to Seattle, and in that regard our efforts remain undeterred.
When we began our efforts in 2011, we went into it knowing that above all else it would take patience. The process involved in getting an Arena built in our city is without question a difficult and time consuming one. Likewise, with the prospects for expansion unclear, the path for returning an NBA franchise to Seattle was likely to prove even more difficult and require even more patience. Thus, even as we are disappointed with the developments related to our efforts to purchase the Kings, we would just like to reiterate our dedication to bringing the NBA back to Seattle. We will continue to press forward with our Arena plans with the same commitment and effort we have over the last two years, and look forward to working with the City and County to see the project through the hurdles that remain. Likewise, we plan to continue to work with the League regarding opportunities that may arise to return an NBA franchise to our City.
I would like to again thank everyone who helped us get to this point. To Mayor Mike McGinn and County Executive Dow Constantine and their incredible staffs for their leadership in getting our Arena proposal off the ground and seeing it through to this point. To the City and County Councilmembers for taking so much time and effort to vet our proposal and work with us to come up with solutions that made the deal work for their constituents. To our Arena Business Advisory Committee for all their help in rallying political and community support. And to our entire legal and professional team for the countless hours and dedication they put into this process.
But most of all I would like to thank all of the fans and community groups that rallied behind our efforts. You have shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that Seattle has great fans and deserves to have an NBA team back. Keep the Green and Gold alive… and just know that we remain as dedicated as ever to seeing Sonics Basketball return to the Emerald City.
Follow Josh Kerns, MyNorthwest.com Reporter
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