Longshore union to file lawsuit to stop arena deal



SEATTLE - A union representing port workers says it will announce a lawsuit against the proposed SoDo arena on Monday.

In a news release issued Friday, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 19 said it will hold a news conference to announce the lawsuit challenging the arena agreement that has been approved by the city of Seattle and King County.


"Our union supports the return of the NBA to Seattle and we are not opposed to an arena somewhere in the Puget Sound region. But we cannot stand idly by while Mr. Hansen and his well-connected lobbyists, along with our elected officials, build an arena in a location that threatens the livelihood of our members and many other workers in the maritime industry and SoDo," said Cameron Williams, ILWU local 19 President, in the news release. 


The arena would be in a freight corridor next to the Port of Seattle and would "erode our city's maritime, industrial, manufacturing, and warehousing future," said Max Vekich, in the news release. 


The union says the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review required by the agreement is a “sham” because Hansen will accept no other site.


The city and county have approved a memorandum of understanding with investor Chris Hansen, who came up the plan for a $490 million arena near the Seahawks and Mariners stadiums south of downtown.