Report: SoDo arena group, NAACP end up holding secret Sonics meeting
After rumors, a postponement, and uncertainty, a secret meeting between the Seattle King County NAACP and Chris Hansen’s SoDo arena group was finally held on May 15 in Seattle, KIRO 7’s John Knicely confirmed Wednesday.
“The NAACP Seattle King County held a private meeting with Chris Hansen’s Sonics Arena Investment Group on May 15th, 2019,” Seattle King County NAACP President Sadiqa Sakin said in a statement acquired by Knicely. “The two organizations are still developing their objectives for SoDo, there will be more to come in the following weeks.”
The NAACP has been rumored to be working with Hansen to aid in the sale of part of Occidental Avenue, the street Hansen’s group needs to build its proposed arena.
Seattle City Council had originally decided not to sell that portion of Occidental to Hansen in a narrow 5-4 vote, almost three years ago.
The saga regarding this meeting all started in early-May, at a postgame media session with Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant. During that session, reporter Cameron Buford cryptically stated that “Seattle is having a meeting to try to bring back the Sonics.”
“Since we left, I’ve been screaming that a team needs to go (to Seattle),” Durant responded.
Buford was referring to a meeting that was said to be taking place at the Washington State Labor Council building in Seattle on May 13, and originally rumored to be attended by Hansen, his SoDo arena investment group, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, and members of the local NAACP.
Three days before that rumored meeting was set to take place, though, the NAACP announced that it had been “postponed indefinitely.”
According to a report from The Seattle Times, the NAACP pushed the meeting back because its details had been leaked to the media.
Sakin went on to say that a meeting between the arena group and the NAACP was always supposed to occur behind closed doors.
At the time of that initial postponement, Sakin noted that “there will be a future private meeting with the SoDo group and the NAACP Seattle/King County President.” She iterated that the public and media would not be informed ahead of time, and that details would only arrive after the fact.
Now, it seems that has come true.