710 ESPN hosts, the web react to Seattle Arena proposal

Oct 25, 2016, 1:30 PM | Updated: 2:50 pm
Chris Hansen’s investment team has offered to privately fund sports arena in SoDo. (AP)...
Chris Hansen’s investment team has offered to privately fund sports arena in SoDo. (AP)

Billionaire entrepreneur Chris Hansen and his investment team have offered to forgo public financing and privately fund a new sports arena in SoDo in order to bring the NBA back to Seattle. The group also offered to cover a funding gap to build an overpass over Lander Street to ease concerns about congestion near the Port of Seattle.

Here’s reaction from some of the 710 ESPN Seattle and KIRO Radio hosts:

Danny O’Neil: “Paying the whole freight is probably the last-resort option. The economics of the development must have changed. An arena solution — without actual funding from taxpayers — were always going to require an integration of real-estate development to the facility use. Now, not only do they believe that the real-estate development can work in conjunction with it, but they can foot the whole bill.”

John Clayton: “What it tells me is that they got some sort of at least hope from the NBA, has to be that way.”

Dave Grosby: “Public financing was the reason why you could object to the whole thing in general and object to any aspect of it because of that. It didn’t make any sense for public financing to be involved in general in the first place and now it is gone. So, what was an impediment is no longer there. … I doubt they have any agreement with the NBA because the NBA would prefer that arenas not be built privately. They are not going to want an appearance of saying, ‘If you build an arena we will give you a team’ because they want the public to build arenas. I think that they are doing this based on the fact that the NBA just concluded a large television deal that really amped their money way up and recent reports in the past couple of months that look like, as opposed to having a work stoppage, they are going to get their labor deal done. So the NBA is in a very strong position to look at expansion at this point and I think they are confident that if they have an arena here, they would be a lead choice for expansion, and I think they are right.”

Bob Stelton: “My assumption is that since the Mariners and the Port of Seattle had concerns before, those haven’t changed. A building in a SoDo area competing with their business, congesting an area that is already congested, those concerns I would assume would remain. But as far as the Seattle City Council and those that had issues with the city’s portion of the fund, that’s been alleviated. They are saying they will foot the bill fo the entire thing and will pay for the Lander Street Overpass. … I am so hesitant because it felt so close before. We have gone up and down on this rollercoaster. How about we are on the edge of field goal range.”

Dori Monson: “This is a major deal. This is a deal that the City of Seattle cannot walk away from. Every criticism has been, we shouldn’t put taxpayers money in a palace for millionaires and billionaires. Now you’re not going to have to. This looks like a great deal for the city.”

Dave Wyman: “It’s a pretty strong statement but … wake me up when they decide to expand in the NBA.”

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710 ESPN hosts, the web react to Seattle Arena proposal