King County Council approves SoDo arena plan


The building with the curved roof in the bottom center of the photo is the proposed site for a new NBA-NHL arena in Seattle. Safeco Field, where the Mariners play, sits just to the north, at the top of the photograph.

SEATTLE - The King County Council voted 6-3 Monday night to approve a plan for the proposed SoDo arena.

The measure now heads to the Seattle City Council, which is expected to vote on the matter in August.

The vote will puts to bed months of public back-and-forth and council meetings on the plan. The county said it wants to move on to other business.

Here's how the County Council voted ("Yes" indicates a vote supporting the arena; "No" indicates a vote in opposition):

  • Larry Gossett: Yes
  • Joe McDermott: Yes
  • Pete von Reichbauer: No
  • Kathy Lambert: Yes
  • Reagan Dunn: No
  • Larry Phillips: No
  • Jane Hague: Yes
  • Bob Ferguson: Yes
  • Julia Patterson: Yes

Shortly after the vote, arena investor Chris Hansen sent this statement:

"I want to personally thank the King County Council for all of their hard work and for taking a big step today to move forward on our proposal. There is still much more to be done, but I am looking forward to sitting down with City Council members to figure out how we can make this deal work for everyone."

King County Executive Dow Constantine issued a statement of his own:

“I thank members of the King County Council for their exhaustive review of this proposal, and adoption of the agreement in a diligent, prudent, and timely manner.

“This proposal is likely the best our region will ever get to bring back the Sonics and lure an NHL team. The unprecedented financial model used for this proposal provides strong protections for the public, minimizes financial risk, and is far different from those used for the region’s past stadiums.

“Our work at the County on this phase of the arena proposal is done for now, and we can turn our full attention to development of our annual budget and other important issues of public policy.”